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Q+A: Wave Makers

(July / August 2017) posted on Fri Jul 28, 2017

Three top-tier lighting designers offer illuminating insights into how they help switch on memorable hospitality environments.

By Matthew Hall

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ANDERSEN: Focus’s lighting design approach always begins with creativity and the development of a single, emotion-evoking concept. Each project offers an opportunity to create something memorable and special for the owner. We ask ourselves what the best way is to accomplish this, prioritizing the primary views within the project’s first look, transition and task.

The first look at a space from the car as you arrive, or as you are walking up to the front door, creates the build-up and the impression. The transition is the second step, and is about making a visual impression in the areas in between, like the lobby, the reception desk or the elevator hall, to extend the impact of the first look. Finally, the task pertains to the functionality of a space. Here, we’re addressing such things as: can you prepare the gourmet meal, can you read the menu, and can you see your date’s expression across the table?

At Mumbai's tote, AWA incorporated fractal design concepts that created eye-catching patterns in the ceiling of the restaurant/bar/banquet venue. Photo: Fran Petit

RAINS: We often say that we see the light but not the light source, to reflect how much of our lighting is integrated into the architecture through clever detailing. Especially in hospitality work, we seek to envelop the guest in light from the perimeter as much as possible. This approach allows for the limited use of downlights, which can feel oppressive. With more light coming from vertical surfaces, a space can feel lit without being overly bright. This adds to the sense of relaxation.

We also spend a lot of time on-site at completion. We focus all adjustable lighting to get the spaces looking exactly as intended. We set up the dimming system schemes and timeclock so that the lighting in each space complements the time of day and the available natural light throughout the year.

Abhay Wadhwa 
Abhay Wadhwa. Photo: Courtesy of AWA Lighting Designers

The unanimous verdict: The earlier the better.


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