Hong Kong, 6th March 2014
One of the most complicated and complex lighting design challenges has to be the design of a hotel’s ballroom. The ballroom is generally one of the money makers of the hotel with wedding and corporate functions taking place on a daily basis. This means that the space needs to be multifunctional and super flexible. The multi-functionality is expressed by the fact that it needs to be designed to certain interior design standards/ sophistication, think decorative chandeliers, wall and floor finishes that represent and reflect the hotel’s corporate branding. The flexibility is expressed by the various lighting needs that differ from application to application, whether we light a wedding banquet, a fashion show or a corporate seminar. More complex is the fact that the room can generally be divided in 2,3 or 4 sub rooms, which means that the design has to stand its own in both the full as well as the partitioned set up.
Ceiling space is limited as many components need to find a place. In lighting alone we have 3 to 4 different layers; there are the general architectural lights, the ceiling cove lights, the specialist focusable lights and the special effects/stage/theatrical lights. On top of that we often include a series of so called set-up or maintenance lights which are low in energy and used to set up functions to save on the architectural and decorative lights. On top of the lighting we have to add any A/V (Audio/Visual) equipment, air-conditioning in and outlets, sprinklers, smoked detectors, speakers and suspension structures that allow users of the ballroom to add in draperies and other elements suspended from the ceiling.
Today I had a one on one design discussion here in Hong Kong with the interior designer of one of our hotel projects to establish how best to integrate our lighting design into the overall interior concept for the ballroom. Note that the lighting of such space is not limited to the ceiling only. Because of the often high ceilings heights (5-10m) it is important to create visual interest at eyelevel, meaning creating lighting on the verticals is also an important consideration, hence it was good to have that discussion today….
Light Watch 5-37: Here is a look at some events and dress ups that happen in ballrooms…lighting is integral to every theme…