Retail & Interiors
case study

Title: The Undercroft gift shop, Durham Cathedral
Client: Sutton Vane Associates and Purcell Architects

Durham Cathedral's retail space has been transformed by LED Light Sheet illuminated oak display cabinets and a sales desk designed by Sutton Vane Associates and architectural practice Purcell.

LED Light Sheet helps to create a beautiful and high quality retail environment. Since reopening the shop has experienced a 59% increase in sales.

Opening in October 2012 and leading to a 59% increase in sales, the retail space of Durham Cathedral has undergone an illuminating transformation. Part of a £1.2 million renovation by architectural practice Purcell with lighting design by Sutton Vane Associates, the first phase of work has been the hospitality areas of the Grade I listed Cathedral including the relocation of the shop and creation of bespoke product display cabinets lit by LED Light Sheet.

After considering a range of LED options, LED Light Sheet was chosen for oak display cabinets and a sales desk designed by Sutton Vane Associates and Purcell in full consultation with the Cathedral’s retail staff. Tested in comparison to a number of LED modules, the use of 8mm thick LED Light Sheet achieves even illumination whilst preserving the sleek finish of the cabinets.

Christopher Cotton RIBA AABC, Partner, Purcell and Durham Cathedral Architect explains: ‘The display units, made of oak, glass and bronzed fittings, use integrated LED Light Sheet to create focus on the merchandise display and help create a beautiful and high quality retail environment which sits sympathetically within the unique architectural space.’

Central display units were limited to a height of 1400mm whilst perimeter cabinets were designed to draw level with column capitals at 1800mm and ensure visibility of the room’s architecture was uncompromised. The use of LED Light Sheet in the cabinets minimises energy consumption and associated running costs whilst delivering an LED lifespan of over 50,000 hours.

Vanessa Ward, Durham Cathedral business support manager, concludes: ‘Since reopening the shop, sales for November and December of 2012 show a 59% increase against the same period in 2011.'

Sutton Vane Associates have since won the Small Retail category at the 2014 Lighting Design Awards in recognition of their work at Durham Cathedral shop.

Credits: Images by Purcell courtesy of Durham Cathedral.