33 Wigmore Street, London ON-SITE

We have been asked to assist interior designers and architects Forme UK with lighting design for the Grade II listed interiors of the historic building at 33 Wigmore Street.

A celebrated interior of its day, it was originally designed and built for Debenham & Freebody department store in 1906-08. When the store opened, it is said that the manager Frederick Richmond proclaimed it ‘the most comfortable shop in the world’.

The re-presentation of the entrance hall and lower ground floor and associated areas will restore the prestige entrance experience of this grand and glamorous building. The imposing statement that the hall and staircase made originally has been diluted by piecemeal additions, incongruous furniture and poorly considered lighting.

The new lighting will replace existing light fittings, using the same wiring routes or discreet surface-run wiring, so there will be no damage to the historic fabric of the building. Light fittings will also be integrated into furniture items such as the reception desk and signage, to provide local lighting without any physical impact on the building fabric.

The proposed scheme will refurbish the whole area in an elegant and appropriate design, cleaning and conserving the historic marble and timber finishes, to re-present the historic entrance hall and related spaces in a way that brings back their former impressive grandeur.

The works on site have now commenced and will take place in stages, closing only a limited area of the building at any one time, thus allowing for uninterrupted occupancy and use of the building throughout the installation works.

– The entrance hall and staircase in a photograph dated 1906 (National Monuments Record).
– A contemporary postcard advertising the glamour of the new department store.