Formerly a small market town, Crawley now has a population of more than 100,000 people and strong transport links to London and nearby Gatwick Airport. At the heart of the town lies Queen’s Square – a pedestrianised zone with extensive shopping facilities.
In 1958, during the town’s rapid expansion, Queen’s Square was officially opened by Queen Elizabeth II. In 2014 Crawley Borough Council, in partnership with West Sussex County Council and the Coast to Coast Local Economic Partnership decided to fund a multi-million-pound redevelopment of the area.
Designing a destination
The aim of the £3.2 million scheme was to rejuvenate Queen’s Square, transforming it into a modern, vibrant space that residents and visitors could enjoy all year round. Extensive research at the beginning of the project resulted in external lighting being one area many residents wanted to see improved.
In early 2015, Burns + Nice – the projects design consultants – invited Schréder UK to work on the project’s lighting design. After a short period of deliberation, the final design was formally agreed with planning application approved in August 2015.
The site would feature high-quality paving, new formal and informal seating, modern street furniture – including a water feature – and smart, decorative lighting.
Ten Shuffle lighting columns were installed throughout the square to illuminate its key features and provide a safe and well-lit environment where people could spend time. The Shuffle – Britain’s first Wi-Fi connected streetlight – is a smart, modular, and interactive lighting column designed to encourage social connectivity. The columns not only provide effective energy-efficient LED lighting, but also include high-definition CCTV cameras, Wi-Fi connectivity and an anemometer. By combining these features in one, unified column, the Shuffle’s minimalist design eliminated the need for extra street furniture – something the Council was particularly impressed with.
Benching the old
Another key aspect of the design was to integrate modern seating throughout the square. Several new benches were manufactured and installed – with Schréder UK installing 260 metres of under bench lighting so that the new fittings conveyed a floating appearance. The LED luminaires were chosen for their small physical size and high-performance light distribution.
A brighter future
Installation of both the lighting columns and the feature lighting was carried out in stages, as part of the wider redevelopment of the area. The project was formally completed in October 2017 with the Council now reaping the benefits of implementing a smart lighting network: increased public safety; significant reduction in energy consumption; and low maintenance requirements.
We’re delighted with the redevelopment of Queen’s Square. Schréder UK has taken our design concepts and turned them into reality. From the first time we saw the Shuffle lighting columns at its headquarters in Basingstoke, to the final installation in the heart of Crawley’s town centre, the team at Schréder UK was consistently professional, engaging and responsive to the needs of the client team and the finished result has exceeded all expectation.