John Pawson Architects

Speirs + Major

Public buildings

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Interior, Church, Public buildings


Project information

Speirs + Major have designed a simple, sensitive and flexible lighting scheme for the 13th Century Benedictine Basilica of Pannonhalma Monastery, as a key contributor in John Pawson’s restoration team.

Following centuries of religious and political upheavals and consequent architectural intervention, Pawson’s scheme set out to pare back selected elements from within the heart of the famous UNESCO World Heritage Site. In so doing they sought to restore a sense of volumetric and architectural integrity. The layout has been addressed to better support the celebration of the liturgy, as well as rationalising and simplifying materials and furniture for visual clarity and functional coherence.

The design of the lighting was considered essential to the success of the project both for physical reasons – to adequately illuminate the different areas of the altered layout – and more importantly for liturgical reasons – to aid in creating the right ambience to support the rigorous focus of contemplative life, and to concentrate attention in only those areas relevant to the celebration of a particular liturgy. The lighting scheme has provided much needed flexibility between these two requirements.

At the top of the pillars Delta Light's Credo was used as a wall-mounted, discrete downlight for general illumination.

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