Three top-tier lighting designers offer illuminating insights into how they help switch on memorable hospitality environments.
By Matthew Hall
WADHWA: I’d like to offer up quick descriptors of two favorites of mine for AWA, both in Mumbai: For the Blue Frog restaurant, we created a filigree pattern of lighting nodes that’s resulted in the taking of countless selfies and social-media posts; for tote, a restaurant/bar/banquet destination, we used fractal design concepts to craft lighting patterns in the ceiling.
RAINS: The Beaumont, London, is an adaptive-reuse project that involved converting a 1920s-era art deco car park into a contemporary luxury hotel. To accommodate the operator’s request for no recessed downlights in the public spaces, illuminationworks specified miniature surface-mounted adjustable spotlights to highlight art in the lobby, light tables in the bar and restaurant, and provide illumination in key circulation areas in the spa. Cove lighting, a characteristic of the art deco period, is used throughout the hotel as a unifying design element, although we did utilize fixtures incorporating current LED technology.
Chad Rains. Photo: Courtesy of illuminationworks
GIVEN THE IMPACT YOUR FIRMS ARE HAVING ON THOSE PROJECTS AND OTHERS, PLEASE DETAIL WHAT LIGHTING EXPERTS SUCH AS YOURSELVES BRING TO THE TABLE, IN TERMS OF A VALUE-ADD TO THE DESIGN TEAM.
Different firms, different approaches–along with several commonalities.
WADHWA: We believe in first really understanding the context that the project is being built in, and then contextualizing our lighting design response. With any new project, the design process begins with a kick-off meeting to establish its general scope and main objectives. This leads to a client briefing, so our team can focus on their goals, in terms of function and aesthetics. At this stage, we also discuss any branding or image concerns from the clients, as well as a preliminary budget for the project.
To accent the lily pad-like seating arrangements in the Blue Frog restaurant in Mumbai, AWA Lighting Designers used a filigree pattern of lighting nodes. Photo: Fram Petit
With this information, AWA performs the necessary research to form a conceptual lighting design for the project. Depending on the project, the foundations for custom fixture design and system integration begin during the concept phase. From these carefully crafted ideas, layouts and details are developed. We complete the process through construction administration, to ensure that the specified products are purchased and correctly installed.
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