Project Description

Large format backlit map image

Cavendish Venues approached Spanlite to produce an illuminated glass feature displaying an old map of London, to adorn a conference room at their headquarters in London. The idea behind the map image came from the still-surviving remains of a Roman wall that runs through the same room in the building itself – a fantastic piece of history preserved for all to enjoy.

The challenge was to find a suitable map image that met a number of criteria. It had to fit the space available for the backlit feature wall, which was a 3.6m x 2.7m wall. The map image also had to be relevant in terms of style to tie in with the Roman wall remains. Furthermore the image would have to be of sufficient quality and resolution to withstand being enlarged to such a size, and subject to close-up scrutiny when backlit.


backlit glass wall panels London map
backlit glass wall panels London map

This last point meant that the usual image libraries available would not be able to supply a large enough image, so Spanlite's search continued and found a number of specialist archives that might be able to supply a genuinely large format old map image. In this search we discovered the digital resource at the National Library of Scotland (NLS), that includes thousands of map images. With their assistance we decided on a 16th Century map of London image, that with some retouching from the Spanlite studio, was made to fit the required criteria. The inherent high quality and size of the original map document meant that the resulting scanned image could be enlarged to the size of the feature without any detrimental loss of image quality.

Once approved. The image was transferred to optically clear film and made into three Stratum Glass panels that butt up next to each other. Behind them are three correspondingly sized light sheet panels that evenly and efficiently illuminate the glass.

Combining the NLS map image library resource with Spanlite's backlit feature wall technology opens up a wealth of new image options that are suitable for large-format reproduction. Map images convey a refined, knowledgable and articulate aesthetic, perfect for corporate and hospitality applications ranging from boardrooms to bars. Full of detail and historical significance, these images really come to life when backlit, and at this sort of scale the resulting effect is simply amazing.

large format map image backlit
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