Bright future for North Quay
Work to illuminate two landmarks on Douglas’s North Quay – the stainless steel Prow sculpture and St Matthew’s Church – has been completed.
Development manager Chris Pycroft of Douglas Development Partnership, the funding body for the scheme, explained: ‘At its former site in Villiers Square the sculpture, which is designed to resemble the ceremonial prow of a Viking ship, was lit and now it has a more prominent location on the North Quay, one that better reflects the Island’s Viking, Norse and maritime connections, it is only fitting the Prow should be given a heightened profile.
‘One of the lighting recommendations in the Douglas quayside lighting strategy was to use projected light to highlight architectural features. We explored a number of ways to bring a sense of drama to the sculpture at night and the scheme we chose uses LED spotlights combined with lights fixed to an adjacent lamppost that project patterns of water rippling down the Prow to create “pools” on the walkway at its base.
‘Lighting St Matthew’s had long been an objective in the North Quay regeneration lighting strategy as the church is an important landmark, visible from the South Quay approach into Douglas. The low-wattage lighting scheme uses two tones of white light - “cooler” white for the stonework, “warmer” for the sandstone - to highlight the building’s architectural features such as the arches and internal angles of the buttresses and has been achieved in such a way that no light spills into the sky at night.
‘Previously St Matthews wasn’t lit at all, so now, with its Ridgeway Street and North Quay façades illuminated, it has made a dramatic change to the streetscape at night and we believe it will attract greater numbers of people to the area after dark.’
Heron and Brearley’s retail director Steven Taylor has welcomed the scheme. ‘As one of the Island’s leading hospitality operators with a number of outlets on the North Quay, Heron and Brearley applauds the work being done by Douglas Development Partnership and Douglas Borough Council to inject new life into what’s rapidly becoming a prime leisure area. Our customers tell us they want more than just a pint when they visit a pub so, at a time when we’re looking at design proposals for upgrading the Clarendon Hotel and developing the entertainment potential of some of our properties in the area, we see the regeneration of the North Quay complementing our drive to create a memorable guest experience.’
The lighting scheme for St Matthew’s Church was designed by Douglas lighting consultancy Luminaires and installed by the electrical services division of Douglas Borough Council. The local authority has also agreed to meet the electricity supply costs.
Canon Duncan Whitworth of the Parish of St Matthew’s said the proposals for the lighting scheme had been ‘embraced with enthusiasm’ by the church council. He continued: ‘Various trials and experiments took place to give us a good impression of the expected results.
‘We are very grateful to Douglas Development Partnership and Douglas Borough Council for undertaking this exciting project which will, I am sure, enhance the whole harbour and marina area by dramatically lighting one of the principal large buildings on the North Quay.’