Heritage and history

Perth, 26th May 2014

Another week another country…my schedule has been fairly hectic lately and that when I was hoping to take my foot of the pedal! We have nicely settled into our new office in Singapore but I haven’t been able to spent more than 2 full days in there due to my heavy travel schedule. Thanks for the team for holding the fort!

This week in Perth I am following up on two very intriguing and special heritage projects, both with a rich history. Both buildings are more than 100 years old and are landmark buildings in the city. Build towards the end of the 19th Century (that now seems really long ago!) they both went through various changes and mixed uses. Both where a hotel at one point of time. Now one is according to my knowledge the oldest theatre in Australia, the other till recently integrated as part of bank, now to be turned into an entertainment hub with bars and restaurants. The heritage fabric of the building to become the attraction and the background setting for a new social meeting place. Of course this is driven by commercial thoughts as you can make much more money from a commercial use than by just using the space as offices. This trend has been going on a lot in countries that have heritage and historical buildings that are just sitting there.

The challenge for any lighting designer in approaching these projects is multiple; first of all the building fabric often  cannot be touched or if it can, only under very strict guidelines with limited ways. Practically all these projects have specialist heritage consultants to advise the design team. The trickiest and most challenging part is the choice and selection of lighting technology and lighting systems. In the older days there was no LED, no compact fluorescent or metal halide for the matter. When it opened the lamps where either candle or incandescent with handcrafted fixtures to hold them. Re-imagining the heritage feel with new lighting technology is what drives the process… I look forward to the challenge…

Light Watch 5-88: Perth has many heritage buildings….recently heritage buildings were renovated and integrated with modern new buildings to create Brookfield Place, now a concoction of bars café’s, galleries and shops. Here is an impression..

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26. May 2014 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: city beautification, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting and the economy, lighting applications | Leave a comment

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