DW Windsor Leads The Way At Historic School

Exterior Lighting manufacturer DW Windsor Lighting is extremely proud to have been involved in the redevelopment of Divinity School, Cambridge. 

Completed in 1879, the Neo-Tudor building was designed for St John’s College by Basil Champneys and is described as ‘an exceptionally high-quality building in a visible and high-profile location’.

Following a competition to redesign and refurbish the Grade II listed building, won by AMA Architects and project managed by the College’s own Maintenance team, the sympathetic refurbishment was to include modern technological enhancements to return the building to its original use of teaching, learning and research.  

With the architectural significance of the building necessitating a considerate lighting solution and the historical importance of the stonework compelling the decision to limit the use of perhaps more traditional bulkhead methods of illumination, DW Windsor’s Garda LED handrail was specified, supported through stanchions to open up the dark Victorian stairway (with the exception of the basement flight which was wall-mounted).

The pre-fabricated sections of 316 stainless steel were fully fabricated on site to provide an exceptional quality of finish, including welding, alignment and the polish of the handrail to ensure a completely seamless (join-free) result from the top of the building, featuring the new main theatre, to the basement (a total of five flights).

DW Windsor’s award-winning illuminated handrail Garda bathes the stairwell in a welcoming warm white light (3000K), with asymmetric distribution to concentrate the light onto the stairs, where it is needed.

Project challenges
Highlighting the importance of thorough planning at survey stage, the bespoke nature of the century old building, with its uneven landings, resulted in the need to individually tailor the depth of each core-drilled hole, required for the stanchions, to ensure a level handrail.   

Finishing touches such as stainless steel base plates, covering the stanchion holes, ensured quality to the last detail.

With boarding in place to protect the treasured wall and staircase stonework at all times throughout the project, it is only now the building is open that the true beauty of the staircase has been revealed.

From detailed survey to careful installation, DW Windsor’s bespoke turnkey service has helped to transform the staircase.

Project Manager:
Planning Manager Ltd

AMA (Annand and Mustoe Architects)

Garda Handrail brochure download

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