Nike's flagship Niketown store on Oxford Circus in London
Nike has recently reopened its flagship Niketown store on Oxford Circus in London following an extensive redevelopment. Helvar lighting control has been used across the reportedly largest Nike store in the world to deliver a creative and inspiring shopping environment.
Niketown covers approximately 3900sqm over four floors, offering a range of services and experiences. The refurbishment forms part of a series of planned new store openings across the UK, designed to provide a ‘premium experience’ across the company’s key sports categories.
When refurbishing its Niketown store, the sporting retailer wanted to provide more than just a shop window for its products. The task for consultants EEP and lighting designer BDP was to create an environment that allowed it to display its entire range of clothing and footwear amongst surroundings fitting of the pedigree of its brand ambassadors - some of the world’s finest athletes. Lighting design was central to delivering this atmosphere and EEP and BDP turned to Helvar in specifying a comprehensive control system.
As Matt Thomas of Helvar, explains: “Naturally, Nike wanted to create a high impact design but, with the store operating across several floors, simplicity in operation and maintenance was vital to ensuring a seamless transition between lighting scenes. As well as decorative lighting for retail sales areas, the store incorporates a ‘service professionals’ zone where one-to-one advice is given to customers whose sporting action can be filmed, in order to match them precisely to the right products. This meant we had to combine decorative architectural lighting with the exacting requirements of a more commercial lighting system in certain areas. “
To fulfil this design brief, BDP specified a combination of Helvar’s DALI compatible, Ethernet backed 920 routers, 458 modular, multi-channel, inductive dimmers and paired them with easy to operate push-button control panels and programming points. “The beauty of our latest IMAGINE and DlGlDlM rack and router ranges,” Matt adds, “is their modular capability. The nature of a building such as that on Oxford Street means that it has gone through many guises over the years. With our DALI kit, installers are able to carry out a compact installation, working with existing cabling, without the need for a disruptive and costly complete rewire.”
lndeed, key to Helvar’s specification on the job was the overall simplicity offered in terms of daily operation, store reconfiguration and long-term maintenance. Following initial system programming, via simple laptop connection to discreet programming points, the staff are able to make scene changes through a simple, wall-mounted, 3-button control panel. Should the store require a re-jig, the Nike facilities team is able to quickly make changes through the programming points, with Helvar’s Designer software. Where large-scale changes are required the modular, plug and play nature of the 458 router allows the maintenance team to simply replace or move them, without disturbing cabling or individual lighting circuits.
A shining example of the system’s ability to combine architectural and commercial lighting elements is in the use of Helvar’s 920 router, which incorporates two DALI universe connections as standard, allowing integration of precise control over a bespoke chandelier into the architectural control scheme containing in excess of 100 fluorescent batons, each with individual level settings.
Configuration across each floor of the store was achieved with the use of standard DALI broadcast lighting circuits, controlled by the 458 ballast control module (capable of 0/1-10V, with DALI broadcast and PWM as standard). The multi-channel nature of the 458 (available in 8, 16 and 24 channel variants) allowed the installer access into existing trunking configurations on the store’s second floor, saving on time and budget. The option of a 24 channel router also ensured the most compact fit, with the control system taking up less space than alternatives.
As well as decorative lighting for retail sales areas, the store incorporates a ‘service professionals’ zone where one-to-one advice is given to customers whose sporting action can be filmed, in order to match them precisely to the right products.
TEXT: John Houston / Wildwood Public Relations, IMAGES: Nike