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Taunton Crematorium, Somerset


Client: Taunton Deane Council Project type: Crematorium Chapel Objective: Dynamic, colour changing and architectural lighting Taunton Crematorium, a Grade II listed building, was built in the early 1960s and is architecturally rich in stunning original features. Services take place within the Chapel which comprises a variety of interesting building details including a double height glass wall providing a frame to the garden views, an asymmetric pitched stone-clad elevation with floor to ceiling stained-glass windows and above all of this is a concertinaed white wooden ceiling. The interior is an absolute pleasure to visit, yet the catafalque space which holds the focus of the congregation throughout the service had the least architectural significance and appeal. The Lighting People worked closely with the client to clearly understand the project objective, which involved increasing the architectural importance of the catafalque though coloured, dynamic lighting. The client desired a lighting system that would allow a colour of significance to be selected as the back drop during services. In addition to this, a twinkling 'starry sky' was imagined directly above the catafalque which was itself to have a 'floating' appearance. The Lighting People designed a scheme specifying highly efficient LED technology with digital controls. The scheme allows for absolutely any colour to be selected for the periphery wall in a variety of intensities, so pastel and bright colours are available. Similarly, the catafalque's 'floating' lighting can also be adjusted from a cosy warm white to a fresh cool white light. Above the catafalque a starry night sky twinkles at a preselected speed. The system, operated through a handheld tablet via Bluetooth, works as a whole or in individual parts and it has the ability to be dimmed down low or intensely brightened up. Once the design had been completed The Lighting People supplied and installed the bespoke fittings out of normal hours and provided commissioning for the system which included installing a variety of pre-programmed lighting scenes. The lighting scheme requires no maintenance, is extremely energy efficient and presents opportunity for incredibly bespoke services to be created, making the experience more personal and special. The client says: "We are so impressed with what your team have achieved, better than we ever expected. We have had comments like 'Awesome', 'Incredible' and 'Fabulous' from Funeral Directors and the public. With your knowledge and help I can now fully appreciate how lighting can transform an area into something very special. Thank you so, so much."