Room with a view
Singapore, 29th May 2012
We are in the midst of designing some penthouses and key to these must be the views. Located in the heart of a major Asian city, some 200m up in the sky, all lighting design should be geared to maximising views at night. There is a distinct difference in approach though whether you are designing for a residential environment or a commercial/ entertainment venue. In our case we are designing for a private owner, but one who will be entertaining guests for sure. So there is this relaxed residential feel but at the same time the magic of the views and semi entertainment. On top of that there is a great collection of art and artworks that spreads out to the outdoor deck terraces.
So my approach to lighting will be quite focussed. My first “design key” is regarding the views and vista’s. These have to be clear of any direct visible light. While for outdoors it is predominantly a matter of light placement, inside I have the added challenge of potential reflections in the windows. Technically if indoors is brighter than outdoors, the windows will become reflective like a mirror and it will be harder to see outside. So I have to make sure the lights are low to the floor or softly washing surfaces without creating disturbing hot spots. My only allowance for brightness spots is the highlighting of the artworks. This is my second “design key”; using the artworks to create visual interest throughout the various areas. Where possible the placing of the artworks should be on walls not facing windows.
There are many other lighting design components like energy conservation and sustainability of the design and so on, but my final major “design key” is all about lighting controls. Light only where, when and how much I need it. This involves zoning and localised control, possibly interactive or sensor driven. Lighting can certainly make or break such areas and certainly where the room comes with a view, lighting design is highly critical and challenging. I am enjoying designing this….
Light Watch 3-75: There are many “cool” places in the world and certainly around Asia there are quite a number of rooftop places to enjoy the view and have a drink!