Robinson’s Brewery has been based in Stockport for almost two centuries and are certainly one of the oldest and most respected names in British brewing history. When Urban Salon architects created a new Visitor’s Centre and Training Facility, they invited LAPD to provide a next-generation lighting design to reveal the deep history of this famed family brewery.
A bright, exciting space greets visitors upon entry into the Visitor’s Centre exhibition hall.
Mounted to an exposed brick wall, plaques, signs, artwork and display cases span the length of the hall. These reveal the history and timeline of the Robinson’s family and brewery
The harnesses and collars for Robinson’s revered Shire horses hang within a small alcove opposite the timeline. A further alcove uses retail display furniture for Robinson’s merchandise.
LED spotlights with adjustable beam angles, mounted at the highest point in the barrel-vault, illuminate both alcoves and the timeline. We used the adjustability to put tight focus on to the most important elements of each display. The mounting height ensures a glare-free, comfortable lit environment.
Linear LED provides the ample ambient light in the exhibition hall. Concealed at the base of the barrel vault, it grazes light up on to the curved ceiling. An advanced control system supplies dimming capabilities for adjusting the light levels to suit time of day and seasonal change.
The main showpieces within the exhibition hall are the pristine horse-drawn cart and the Copper, dating from the 1800s and oozing character.
The cart is a moveable feature, often still used on the streets of Stockport. As such, Robinson’s requested that it received no specific lighting treatment. Instead, we lit it from the high-level track, designing additional spotlights into the scheme for this purpose.
The Copper, however, provided a unique lighting challenge. Firstly, we used the high level track again, lighting the outer surfaces, restored to their former lustre and glory. The internal surfaces, dented and eroded by decades of use, needed light to reveal the character. However, the metal here was paper thin, unable to support any weight at any time. Therefore, we attached adjustable LED spotlights with warm white light output to a new steel structure. Suspending the dome of the Copper above the rest of the display, it made for a perfect, solid installation surface. These spotlights needed careful adjustment. The end result is a stunning introduction to the brewing process; a centrepiece that simultaneously displays the brewery’s history and its future, on display screens mounted around the perimeter of the Copper.
Beyond the main hall of the Visitor’s Centre is the Unicorn Suite, comprised of the Unicorn Room and Bar and a separate room used for conferences, events and training of Robinson’s pub staff. In addition, a full commercial kitchen allows Robinson’s chefs to train and learn proposed new menus.
Dimmable LED downlights with darklight reflectors illuminate the Unicorn Room and Bar. The circuit arrangements allowed for several different room layouts and events. Adjustable accent lighting around the perimeter of the room highlights artwork and the commissioned, refurbished copper tanks taken from the brewery.
The storage room for the draught beers behind the bar is visible behind a large window. Lighting from invisible sources adds a touch of drama to this essential part of the suite.
The bar uses the same adjustable downlights as the rest of the Unicorn room to create drama on the back wall. Solid bronze pendants hung over the bar itself to lend an intimacy to the otherwise modern and sleek space.