Gunnersbury House in West London has undergone a multi-million pound refurbishment programme, part of which has seen White Light introduce a lighting, audio and AV solution to facilitate both the event spaces and museum.
Once a residence of the Rothschild family, Gunnersbury Park House sits within Gunnersbury Park and is now run by the Gunnersbury Estate (2026) Community Interest Company. The refurbishment project not only restored the building back to its former glory but also saw it house a brand new museum and state rooms suitable for weddings and conferences.
The project was overseen by White Light’s business development manager Jason Larcombe. “Our approach was to introduce a highly-flexible network throughout the principle rooms, meaning that the space could function as a museum during the day and then be used for events during the evening,” he commented. “We worked closely with the architect to understand what was possible within each space and also worked with the venue managers to understand their requirements, and tune the design to the potential needs of event planners. We suggested implementing an infrastructure in which 80% of event resources were accessible on site.”
White Light provided the complete package of lighting, audio and video; ensuring each element worked holistically. “Being an historic building, we needed to minimise the intervention of technology, meaning it had to be discrete, carefully coloured and sympathetically aligned,” said Larcombe. “As part of the lighting scheme, we worked alongside Studio Due to create custom fittings that could be mounted within the floor and fit within the building’s existing architecture; with these fixtures needing approval from the architect and heritage advisors. By integrating these fixtures, we removed the need to deploy any uplighters, thus making the venue quick and easy to set up for events once the museum closes for the day.
“GDS Pro One-Cell MR16 fittings were selected to provide accent to some of the decorative ceiling features and interpretation panels, chosen due to their size and high colour rendering. We also installed large quantities of RGBWW led tape to reveal ceiling and decorative architectural features, which bring the spaces to life by day and night. All of the lighting fixtures can be controlled independently via the Crestron system.”
White Light also oversaw the installation of a brand-new audio system. “The system has been designed to facilitate daytime museum use while simultaneously offer a wealth of possibilities for clients using the event spaces,” explained Larcombe. “The technology includes Yamaha VXS5W speakers which are all controlled via an MRX7D processor. This allows the event rooms to operate without the need for technicians to be present as the sound is automixed. The audio is run via a Dante network and the easy-to-use control system means clients have complete control of all audio aspects, from background music to microphone volume.”
All of the technical elements installed by White Light are controlled via a Crestron DM system. “We’ve used the Crestron system on other similar installations and found it to be extremely reliable and user friendly,” said Larcombe. “With Gunnersbury in particular, the system means all technical aspects can be controlled via one control point. Using an iPad, the events team at Gunnersbury are able to walk around the space and show clients numerous possibilities with complete ease.”
The planning for the installation took six months with the actual installation taking five weeks. The on-site team for White Light included project managers Phil Nicolaou and Lucy O’Brien along with system designers Ian Davies and Dominic Caviggia.
Jane Coughlan, head of FM performance at events at Ealing Council, commented: “With an historic venue, it’s about finding that careful balance between respecting and maintaining the integrity of the fabric of a building whilst simultaneously acknowledging the facilities required for a successful events space. Knowing WL has a vast wealth of experience of working in listed buildings, we were confident that we could rely on them to deliver cutting edge technology within the confines of the curatorial restrictions. As a result, we now have an AV system that not only enhances the architectural beauty of the key features in the House but also has the ability to meet the exacting standards that clients demand of a venue.”