With a solid gold reputation for being Europe’s leading specialist in LED flat panel lighting technology underpinned by a vigorous and almost legendary ‘Can-Do’ ethos, it’s no surprise that Essex-based NES has been involved in the creation of Westfield, Stratford City, Europe’s largest urban shopping mall and prestigious gateway to the Olympic Park.
The brief to NES from Westfield’s in-house design team was to install two types of unique bulkhead feature panels to fit multi-level, internal areas of the central and northern arcades of this shopping and lifestyle pantheon.
“It’s been a really tremendous project for us,” said NES Director Jon Baker. “Naturally, we are experienced in handling high profile jobs – be it retail, business, regeneration, you name it. Westfield, Stratford City allowed us to really utilise all our considerable expertise, knowledge and in-house skills. The government should love us, as we’re an example of doing everything British, we designed and manufactured all the hanging-systems, combined glazing systems, building cladding systems, and of course, the flat panel lighting which itself represents over three years of in-house R&D – and all this was done from our factory in Colchester over a 16 week period.”
For this job, NES created a monumental brick-effect made-up of large flat bricks, slightly raised ones as well as fabricated blocks, which were fitted above Level 30, the top floor of the mall.
The brick effect comprises numerous aluminium composite material (ACM) panels that have been fabricated into three-dimensional cassettes approximately 3.2m wide by 1.3m high. Attached to wall brackets, and running to a continuous epic length of nearly 400m, every panel is different. Each features a diverse configuration of raised bricks and/or fabricated blocks, some lit, some not, held in place by means of an aluminium hanging system designed to accommodate this huge, arresting and unusual installation.
The bricks and blocks sitting on top of the back panels are made from specially formulated polycarbonate – dense for the non-illuminated units and opalescent for the illuminated variety. Bricks and blocks are lit using NES’ in house manufactured LED lightpanels.
For the lower levels 25 and 20, glazed bulkheads and soffit panels were used. Here, galvanised steel (Zintec) back panels were fitted to galvanised steel angles and brackets. These were then faced with annealed and laminated glass held in place by a bespoke ‘hook-on’ aluminium frame system – the ease of which was not only needed for installation but servicing too, as all lightpanels require to be demountable for maintenance after 40,000 hours (or 10, 000 flouros). Far better than the fluorescent tubes that were originally specified.
“There was absolutely no available system on the market that could have accommodated all that we needed for this project,” says Tony Irwin. “That being the case it meant that everything was designed tested and manufactured from scratch for this project. However, what is hugely significant here is that NES developed, designed and manufactured all the lightpanels at our factories in Colchester, which in total amounted to over 3,200 sq.m and covered a phenomenal area of 3km. We are the only UK manufacturer of lightpanels, and we produce the largest and the brightest in the market.”
“We have invested heavily in flat screen lighting technology,” said NES Chairman, Tony Irwin, “and it’s been great to see how our efforts have paid off. The multi-level, illuminated balustrades for WSL are for the Guinness Book of Records as they represent the largest ever-light panel project in Europe. We are thoroughly delighted that such an important and prestigious development as Westfield chose us as their nominated supplier.”
“It’s been a great job from start to finish,” concludes Tony Irwin adding, “Westfield, Stratford City really does raise the East–End from a down-at-heel hinterland to a real contender that goes beyond the 2012 Olympic Games. This is regeneration and its most impressive, and from the NES point of view, we’re proud that such a key part of the interior look and feel of this 21st century temple has been made in Essex!”
For more information about this release, our company or for any other editorial requests please visit our website at www.nes-solutions.co.uk