Costa Coffee – Heathrow T5

Bespoke installation  |  Dynamic light art  |  All-LED  |  Flexible linear LED  |  Advanced control system


Costa Coffee


Various Stores in the UK


Designed Architectural Lighting, LED Linear


Architectural FX, Northern Lights


Stiff & Trevillion

Together with Stiff + Trevillion architects, LAPD have created a retail lighting design in the form of a large scale piece of light art for Costa Coffee.  It is the first sight to welcome passengers into the Arrivals hall at Heathrow Terminal 5 in London.

Concept and Functionality

The floating structure creates a canopy over the newly refurbished Costa Coffee store.  As well as a series of effects that generate impact on a world class level, it also supports an environment that creates comfort and a desire to linger.  We achieved this through subtle lighting effects and considerate lighting design.

Bespoke aluminium extruded fins comprise the structure.  Within each fin there is a channel, sized to accommodate a continuous line of warm white light.  This line sits flush with the lower face of alternate fins.  The light from these fins produces a soft, warm glow to the tables and seating below.  Accent light is provided from various table, wall and floor lamps.

Additional accent lighting is provided to the curved walls of the coffee shop so as to increase its visual appeal.  A flexible line of light, recessed into the back of the curved seating, provides a delicate upward glow.

All the fins are individually controlled using a Madrix control system.  They are able to dim above or below their functional ambient level.  This allows a series of dynamic scenes, while still maintaining a comfortable environment suitable for relaxing and spending time in.

We created 5 separate 20-minute scenes, interspersed by a 20-second ‘refresh’ scene.  This short, vibrant scene briefly draws attention to the canopy, so customers observe the following scene.  The scenes move at a subtle tempo, much more noticeable to those sitting and relaxing than the hurrying passers-by.

  • commercial lighting design Costa

The creative lighting design control system also works with daylight.  Therefore, we ensured appropriate light levels within the fully daylit space, throughout the day and into the night.

The joins between the fins, the lighting extrusions and the opal diffusers were all staggered to ensure than no joins were obvious from below. Cables management within the core of each fin allows for plug and play replacement in the unlikely event of any lighting failures.

Control gear was located at the end of each fin on the outskirts of the seating layout. This allowed access in the event of control gear issues and allowed warm air to escape from within the fin through the perforations.

To allow a consistent gap between the end of the line of light and the end of the fin, we designed each fin to a certain length.  This ensured the lines of light appear fully integrated within the canopy.

By using subtle lighting control effects, we have created a light art feature where intrigue increases over time, supporting an environment that helps time fly.