The week that was 10-15th April 2017
Singapore, HCMC, Nha Trang, Hong Kong, Yangshuo, Singapore weekend 16 -17th April
Yes it was a busy travel week again. I am still in Hong Kong as I prepare this week’s blog. The beginning of the week saw me traveling to Nha Trang (via Cam Rahn airport) for a full consultant’s site meeting for one of our 6 star hotel resorts there .With about 30 consultants, local architects, designers, operator, contractor and client in attendance it was a busy 2 day agenda. On my way back I made a stop-over in HCMC to meet one of Vietnam’s leading architects on who’s team we have been invited for a major city master plan project…I am quite excited about this one. When we kick off the project I will have more to report. After barely 10 hours in Singapore, (dinner and a shot night’s rest) I was of again to Hong Kong and Guilin early in the morning to start with the last little bits and pieces of our Yanghsuo project. This project has all the hallmarks of an award winning project, it’s location along the river in the middle of the Guilin Mountains and a hotel that is build around an old decommissioned sugar cane factory…another 2-3 months and we are on for the opening! Finally after 4 years of very intensive work…
This week we are featuring our good friend Todd Chapman, who recently joined us after we clicked and bonded over our successful Majesty’s Theatre project. It is a new direction for us, but a very important one. From experience we know that 90% of the site issues are realted to installation and having someone like Todd with his vast electrical installation knowledge in our team will be a great asset…welcome Todd!
I’d like to start by thanking Martin for the opportunity to write about my experiences with lighting design. As an electrician and electrical contractor the world of lighting design has come to me in a different way to most of the previous blogs you have read. My experience of lighting design has come from an installation perspective and over the years I have been fortunate to work on a varied array of projects. As a result I have seen the difference lighting design can make to the outcome of a project and more importantly the impact that good lighting design can have! Unfortunately, for all the great projects I have seen, too many times I have also seen projects fall short of their potential due to poor lighting design, budget constraints and poor execution and cooperation from electrical contractors. These factors have all greatly influenced my outlook on what it takes to achieve the best possible lighting design and installation outcome.
I was fortunate enough to be working for a company who were awarded the contract to install the new facade lighting to His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth. The opportunity to light such a beautiful building doesn’t come along every day and I was excited for the project. As Project Manager for this installation I was in a position to make sure that the outcome would honour both the building and the lighting design and was keen to get underway. I met Martin and Stan at one of the first project meetings and could instantly see their passion for the design and commitment to the outcome and I knew that between us we could work towards a common goal.
One of the biggest challenges with a project like this is finding common ground on light fitting locations (this is generally a bone of contention between designers and contractors) but between us we were able to come up with a plan for preliminary night tests with sample fittings. After minimal night tests looking at different aspects of the installation, we were able to agree on exact mounting locations for all fittings that would allow us to get on with the installation with confidence. This also provided the KLD team with the best possible means of adjustment when it came to commissioning.
Once the installation was nearing completion Martin, Stan and Elisa then returned to site for the next round of night tests and the fine tuning began. Aiming the fittings and the requirements for filters were decided for every fitting, colours selected for the LED awning lights and piece by piece everything started to come together. Due to the nature of the installation and the required scaffolding these night tests were carried out in stages with the final test taking place when the scaffolding was removed from site. The KLD team made themselves available for all night tests no matter how late they went and how cold it got and together we were able to come up with an amazing result. I can’t express enough the importance of these tests and the ability and willingness of designers and contractors to work together to achieve the desired outcome….it makes all the difference!
Having worked with KLD on the His Majesty’s Theatre project I was honoured and excited when Martin and Stan offered me the chance to work with KLD directly on more projects. The chance to work with KLD to provide an integrated design and installation approach to their clients is an exciting prospect and one that very few lighting designers or electrical consultants provide. Unfortunately too often lighting design and lighting installation are approached as separate endeavours and it is our hope that we can bridge this gap and provide a better, more efficient and cost effective solution to KLD’s clients encompassing lighting design, installation design, lighting control system design and electrical drawings and specifications.