Design issues – design concept versus budget
Zhengzhou, 10th November 2009
Another day on the road, now in Zhengzhou, Henan province this time 1 ½ hours flight north west of Shanghai. I am meeting the client and the design architect, SOM from the USA, for one of our prestigious projects, the Zhengzhou Tower. The Tower is located at the heart of the new CBD (Central Business District) which is being purposely developed by the local government, the Tower being at the centre of this master plan. The lighting concept for the exterior façade will assure that the tower will be the show and center piece of the whole development standing tall at more than 300m high.
The design issue I want to put forward today is typical for many projects. There is a lighting concept that everybody likes and there is a budget estimate that nobody likes. The lighting concept uses the latest LED power floodlights in order to achieve the intended effect and brightness but at 300m high it is not difficult to imagine the sort of costs involved to light up the façade over its full height, 360 degrees around! So the question is whether we are willing to compromise on the lighting concept and quality in order to lower the cost. The answer of course is in principle NO, but to what extend should we be un-compromising…certainly in an environment like China where quality does not seem to be the main worry. For us as lighting designers I believe our position should always be guided by the quality of the end result. Is the lighting brief being achieved, is the client satisfied with the end result, have we provided the best value for money, will the client enjoy the end result for a long time to come? If there is a choice I believe it is better to implement full quality partially then questionable quality fully! The meeting continues tomorrow……
Note: As I go and experience them in real life, I will touch on lighting design issues that I encounter to make this blog even more actual. I am regularly confronted with all kinds of design issues for which not necessarily a right answer is available. I will share them with you and welcome any comments.