Heathrow Terminal 2

Heathrow Terminal 2

On June 4th 2014, after more than four years of being redeveloped, Heathrow’s new Terminal 2 opened its doors to passengers. The new £2.5 billion, state-of-the art Terminal will accommodate 20 million passengers a year and will offer an unprecedented quality of environment for passengers, airlines and retailers alike.

Lighting Design Brief

Lighting design practices studioFractal and Hoare Lea lighting were commissioned to create a lighting solution for all public areas of the terminal, and given a brief to achieve the following:

  • Create the optimum balance between natural and architectural lighting
  • Create a unique lighting effect on the terminal ceiling
  • Use coloured lighting to enhance the traveller experience
  • Meet a strict quality and efficacy agenda
  • Have a reduced carbon footprint and achieve sustainability targets

The overall lighting design involved cove lighting, accent lighting and emergency spot lighting.

Product Selection & Lighting Mock Ups

As one of the largest lighting projects in the UK, it was critically important to ensure that any lighting solutions used would meet the brief.

To assist with product selection, Architainment provided a series of lighting mock ups both off site and on site at Terminal 2.

A Unique Ceiling Lighting Scheme

A key component of the lighting design is the fabric soffit suspended from the terminal that changes colour. This unique design spans 40,000m2 and is backlit by more than 1700 ColorGraze QLX Powercore fixtures situated in the main terminal roof.

This fabric membrane subtly changes colour during throughout the day to provide a delicate link to the outside world. When the light outside falls below pre-determined acceptable lighting, the terminal rooftop ripples waves of soft colour, forming a distinctive environment for the departures level.

Cove & Accent Lighting

In addition to the unique ceiling lighting design, Color Kinetics eColor Cove EC Powercore and eW Cove EC Powercore were used to provide cove and accent lighting in the check in, security lounge and boarding areas.

Emergency Spot Lighting

To provide illumination in case of emergency, more than 600 custom built Philips StyliD luminaires have been sited on columns around the terminal.

Lighting Expertise and Support

Architainment worked closely with studioFractal and the client throughout the project, and added value from concept to completion in the following ways:

  • Lighting mock ups on site
  • Specification assistance
  • CAD schematics and schedules
  • Product supply
  • Customisation
  • Sourcing of custom Low Smoke Zero Halogen (LSOH) cabling for use in airport environments
  • Complete system integration with Pharos control solution
  • On site support for contractors
  • Programming and Testing
  • Commissioning
  • Client training
  • Regular programming upgrades

With sustainability as a guiding principle of its design and construction, Heathrow Terminal 2 will be one of the world’s most efficient airports producing 40% less carbon dioxide emissions through the LED technology.


The lighting project at Heathrow Terminal 2 has won numerous awards including:

Lighting Design Awards 2015

Lighting Designer of the Year – Tim Downey of studioFractal

Best Public Building – Heathrow Terminal 2

RICS Awards 2015

Project of The Year

Lux Awards 2014

Transport Lighting Project of the Year

World Interior News 2014

Lighting Project of the Year



CLIENT > Heathrow Airport


PHOTOGRAPHY > James Newton

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