Circular Lighting Report

Grand Hotel in Birmingham reuses luminaires

A Fritz Fryer restorer with a chandelier from the Grand Hotel Birmingham

THE £50 million  refurbishment of the Grand Hotel in Birmingham has seen its huge inventory of original lights restored and reused.

The iconic grade II listed building had been closed for 20 years and fell into a state of dilapidation and disrepair.

Refurbishment contractor Michael Nugent appointed Fritz Fryer Lighting to undertake the removal and reconditioning of the important period luminaires.

During initial site visits it became apparent that the vast luminaires in the magnificent Louis XIV-style grand ballroom would need to be worked on in situ.

By contrast, the matching wall lanterns and smaller plafonniers could be removed for restoration in the company’s factory in Ross-on-Wye.

The restoration work included new glass panels to replace missing and damaged ones, the cleaning and repair of gilt metal work, fabrication and installation of new gear trays and the removal of all old electrical components. Fritz Fryer worked with the electrical contractor and design team to agree on colour temperature, lumen level, source of illumination, emergency kits with health indicators, DALI dimmable drivers and future serviceability.

‘This was a fantastic project for our talented restoration time and designers,’ said company chief Simon Wallis Smith. ‘The project is a triumph to all the investors, companies and talented individuals involved and this important historical building will be enjoyed for many years to come.’

A spokesman for Michael Nugent commented: ‘The luminaires at the Grand Hotel needed to be sensitively restored and carefully modified to incorporate Dali dimmable drivers, emergency packs and reliable energy efficient LED illumination.

‘The Fritz Fryer team completed this project on time, within budget and were professional throughout.’

Designed by architect Thomson Plevins, the hotel opened in 1879. The hotel closed in 2002 and due to the risk of crumbling stonework where it remained under scaffolding and protective covers for ten years. It has now opened with 185 bedrooms, two new bars and a restaurant, a gymnasium, meeting rooms, collaboration areas, and event spaces.

Ray Molony

Recolight Report is an independent guide to the latest developments in sustainable and circular lighting. Learn about the people, products, projects and processes that are shaping our industry’s low carbon future. Plus: explainers on the latest innovations, opinion from thought leaders and video interviews with leading disruptors. Edited by lighting expert, editor and industry figure Ray Molony.