Cardiff Airport, Cardiff.

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Architectural lighting scheme for demanding environments.

Project Summary:

Location: Cardiff
Sector: Retail
Value: £22K
Duration: 1 Months
Client: Powell
Architect: Powell Dobson

In May 2018, Cardiff airport reached a new milestone on its way to transformation - 1.5 million customers a year now choose to fly from the Welsh capital.

With over 50 direct flights and 900 connections, the passenger numbers are expected to continue growing. Following the recent £4m redevelopment of the airport, Cardiff is becoming one step closer to its ambitious vision of becoming an outstanding capital city.

Situated in the rural valley of Glamorgan, and originally set up as a wartime satellite aerodrome and training base, the airfield officially started operating in 1942.


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Abandoned after WW2 and brought back to life and converted to a civilian airport in 1952, the airport operated under several names and gradually attracted more airlines to set up their base. In 2009, it was the 20th busiest airport in the UK in terms of passenger numbers.

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With the double digit growth projected for 2018/2019, the recent investment was to improve the overall experience for passengers flying out of Wales and proudly emphasise Welsh heritage.
— Project Manager - 299 Lighting
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The interior design and fit out experts Powell were awarded the large scale £4m fit out and refurbishment project following the design of Powell Dobson Architects. The refurbishment project included an extension and fit out of the Departure Lounge and a complete redesign of the 51° Business Lounge, all in bid to accommodate the expansion plans and raise the airport's profile.

Our team was approached by Powell in February 2018 with a brief to design a clean, industrial look lighting scheme that works with the mechanical and electrical services combined with acoustic panels that had been put in place. The timescale and the budget were crucial on this project.


Full lighting design, lighting calculations and 3D visualisation have been produced to support the design team. In the main circulation area in the departure lounge, the cylindrical adjustable spot Sett suspended was specified and used. Offering a perfect balance of light quality, efficiency and output with a clean industrial look, the Sett is a perfect choice for demanding commercial applications with high ceilings and long periods of continuous use.

With stunning views across the Vale of Glamorgan, the stylish Executive Lounge and new 51° Business Lounge offers commuters touchdown areas. Decorated in slate grey colour referencing the Welsh slate heritage, the 51° Business Lounge, featuring a bespoke wooden slatted ceiling detail, was designed incorporating linear lighting at a random pattern. Various lengths of the Lopen Surface mounted have been used to create the pattern. The Lopen has a versatile clean-cut linear profile with outstanding efficiency and performance. Compact, yet powerful and highly reliable, it has been designed with attention to detail, ticking all the right boxes for the function and design.



The new lighting was supplied in two stages in a tight 5 week schedule. The works have been completed ahead of the official opening on the 18th April and well ahead of the busy summer season. The final result is an attractive transformation significantly enhancing the customer experience.


“The lighting designed for the main circulation space of the departure lounge includes suspended downlights with a modern industrial look and feel. linear profiles were also installed within the baffles, incorporating different lengths in a random fashion to bring a bit of playfulness into the new-look scheme at Cardiff Airport.”

Marcela Pomphrey - Marketing Director

A few words from Gareth Knight, Technical Director at POWELL

1#  What was the design brief for this project? 

The aim of the project was to improve overall experience for passengers flying out of Wales. The new environment needed to be light, open, airy and functional.

2# What were you trying to achieve with the lighting? 

The client required uniform distribution, complementing the new heating, ventilation and air conditioning system and the acoustic ceiling panel clouds (stars and clouds).

3# What made you  choose 299 Lighting? 

Portfolio of product offerings, design service, cost. 

4 # What did you like about the service? 

High standard of Design service, customer relationship.

5# Are you happy with the results? 

Yes, aesthetics matches design intent, quality of output and fitting was very good and the uniform distribution was also delivered to a high standard. 


Project in figures:


1.5 million 

1.5 million customers a year now choose to fly from the Welsh capital.


A total of £4 Million was spent on the redevelopment of Cardiff Airport!


Cardiff Airport was originally set up as a wartime satellite aerodrome and training base, the airfield officially started operating in 1942.


Products used in this project


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