The week that was 29 February – 4th March 2016

Singapore – Muscat – Istanbul – Singapore, Weekend 5-6 March 2016

On the road
With barely 12 hours transit and sleep in my own bed in Singapore on Saturday night last weekend, I was already flying off for my next trip to Muscat in Oman and onwards to Istanbul in Turkey early Sunday morning. Combining this weeks two projects in one trip saved a substantial amount of travel time but put an extra load on my stamina coming right on the heels of the Tahiti trip last week. These projects are however in a crucial stage requiring me personally to travel and attend, a commitment made to the client at the start of the projects. But while I was travelling for these projects other members of my team attended project meetings in Malaysia, Vietnam, Indonesia and Singapore…busy times. Nothing beats face to face meetings which was again proven in my trips to Bora Bora last week and Muscat and Istanbul this week. After having met some of the local players for the first time, the communication flow is starting to work, while previously (not really knowing and possibly not understanding each other) the flow was piece meal or practically non-existent…after meeting each other and spending time working and understanding each other’s scope and work a personal bond is forged that so much facilitates the communication flow for the progress and final success of the project. I feel we achieved a month’s work in just one week…now I have to recover from the trip but that is another story…

This meeting was touted as the big “showdown” between the teams from Singapore and the local teams in Oman. A lot of animosity and misunderstanding had built up over the last 2 months between the client project management side and their “demands” for deliverables, time schedules and budgets, in regards to our design and coordination process mixed with expected operator standards. Heated exchanges had flowed between the various parties mostly as a result of the local team not really understanding the design process and wanting to impose near impossible time schedules and budgets. After the Singapore team (interiors, lighting and landscape) had done their presentations in the morning, the mood changed nearly instantly. Each of us had shown and demonstrated our creativity, capability, expertise and professionalism in our presentations that greatly impressed the owners (and project management) and that combined with our cooperative and personable attitudes put the owners at ease that we were not just high handed and spoiled brats, but professionals knowing our stuff. Listening to other professionals can also be very “illuminating”, it was interesting to hear the type of wildlife to be expected on our project desert site, such as camels and hyena’s from our landscape consultant or the type of security measures needed to “secure” the property against unwanted intruders and potential terror threats! It is a bit sad to realise that a security consultant for this kind of projects is now an unavoidable must…20 years ago they would not have had a lot of work…how times have changed!

After the presentations we converged in various one on one design workshops which now had reached a very cooperative and friendly atmosphere and a lot was resolved in a fairly short time. Hopefully this has set the tone for the rest of the project and we will be looking back at the early “coordination fights” with a smile…

Back on Buyukada island within a month since my last visit as the first phase of the project is slated for opening by the middle of the year and with the operator (Viceroy) now firmly on board we are entering the tail end of this project. I inherited this project from a previous lighting designer with all its limitation and challenges. I don’t know the history, the original brief or why it went wrong, my task is to bring the project to a good end with whatever is already there but with my own input in terms of design and implementation. It’s a very hands-on job with much of the electrical infra-structure in some parts already done. The devil is in the details and that is very much what my input has been. For some reason the project ended up with some horrible commercial black bollards totally out of style with the resort. My suggested solution of cutting the bollard and redesigning a stone bollard around it turned out to be a great call and by relocating and drastically reducing the quantities the lighting ambiance changed 180 degrees. Specifically in the landscaping and building lighting relocations of lighting reduction of quantities adding additional features will bring back the night time ambience befitting this resort. We mocked up several lighting effects and I must say the results are fantastic. Further design discussions with the team sorting out implementation details and specific operator requirements such as signage were very productive. The pace of work was unrelenting; I had arrived from Muscat on an overnight flight on Wednesday at 6am and started my site meetings directly on arrival working till late daily (checking out the lighting mock-ups at night) with all meals taken on site. After the last lighting mock up inspection on Friday evening and a wrap up de-brief with the client I went straight back on the boat to the main land and on to the airport to catch my overnighter back to Singapore…no let up there, but a very satisfactory feeling of having achieved results and leaving behind happy clients…

Have a great week ahead!
Below: Muscat images followed by Istanbul images

Muscat sunrise impressions, presentations and design sketches…

muscat mood image 2

Muscat sunrise

Muscat mood image


security consultant 2

Muscat 1

muscat 3

muscat 5

muscat 2

muscat 4

Istanbul images, grand mansion floodlighting, lighting mock ups, landscape lighting location pegging, design sketches…
GM facade

GM facade 4

GM notes

arch mock up

lantern mock up

bollard before after

bollard 2

pegging locations landscape

pegging spray painting

tree uplight 2



Istanbul 1

istanbul 2

istanbul 3






06. March 2016 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: Light and inspiration, light watch, lighting and culture, lighting applications, lighting design, lighting design practice, lighting standards | Leave a comment

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