Memory lane and the test of time
Kuala Lumpur 31st July 2013
After a day of meetings that ended a bit earlier than expected (yes some meetings can be conducted efficiently! ), I decided to visit an old stomping ground, the KLCC Petronas Twin Towers, where I spent several years in the nineties working on the lighting design. Always interesting to see how your lighting design withstands the test of time. And when I say time I mean a design that was conceived 20 years ago. While we could not enter the office towers interiors and some lottery system applies for going up the link bridge, I did wander around in the KLCC Park which in its hey days was a horse racing course…so you can roughly imagine the size of the KLCC area with the buildings all build at the perimeter of the site. A now lush landscape provides a Hyde-Park-esque oasis in the bustling centre of KL.
I wandered around the main water pond with its multi-million dollar water fountain feature and looked at the light fittings, installed last century (yes really!) to get a feel how the design had stood the test of time. At the time the light fitting selection was considered modern and trendy, now nearly 20 years later some still look their part but most really look dated and most of all worn and battered! Some really battered and damaged from being exposed to public “contact” and years of maintenance, some with the original “guts” replaced rudely with ill-fitting LED substitutes. But most fixtures still run on their original lamp technology, such as CFL and Metal Halide, at least so I observed during the day. I have not been able to go back at night; I hope I can one night, as that will show me how well the lights hold up in terms of performance, lighting effects and durability. I suspect that some may be failing, some may have weathered down light outputs. I also observed that most in-ground tree up-lights had gone, probably because over time they had become a major maintenance headache, leaving trees with a desolate junction box lost in uselessness. But overall, after more than 15 years of being opened to an unforgiving public the lighting design still stands!
Light Watch 4-124: Here are some pictures that show you today’s state of the fittings. The pictures speak for themselves…