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Top GIA Equation was appointed to design the lighting for the refurbishment of the Hilton London Metropole Hotel’s ground floor east wing public areas which include the lobby, reception, lobby lounge, bar, lift feature wall and exterior lighting associated with entrances. Bottom GIA Equation provided façade lighting design to visually unify the entire Knightsbridge Estate in London at night. There are three listed Grade II heritage buildings on the site and most of the estate dates back to the early 19th century. The total length of the lit façade is over 500 metres (see in-depth article in mondo*arc issue 78).

HIGHLIGHTS Projects that you would like to change: Any historical façades which are overlit and use large visible fixtures. St Paul’s Cathedral is a prime example although I gather the City of London have future plans to improve this. We now have the tools to revisit projects and to reveal the architecture in a subtle and controlled manner. Projects you admire: Stadel Museum Berlin by LKL. The combined use of daylight and electric lighting with integrated mounting locations for spotlighting make this a beautiful and flexible gallery space. Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, which demonstrates how far LED technology has developed. All of the colours in the paintings are rendered beautifully. Projects you dislike: Any projects that use coloured light indiscriminately. Guangzhou in Southern China was particularly bad until the Asian Games took place. The local authority saw how good well-designed and controlled lighting can be and outlawed some of the worst culprits of colour misuse. As designers we have a responsibility to ensure that buildings are displayed to their best, whilst acknowledging branding and commercial pressures.

job was on the National Theatre back in 1996/7. I was the project designer.” He loved the on-site problem solving. “No matter how well drawn out and planned a project is, there are always things you can’t predict once you get on site. Learning to resolve those in a good way and keep the integrity of the design is important.” He’s been at GIA Equation for almost two years now, and rates his team highly. He reckons each director and senior designer must look after between six to ten projects each a year. “They’re all at different stages – you’d hope. Just occasionally things sync up. It’s quite hard trying to finish lots of projects at the same time.” They’re just finishing off a project in Knightsbridge, which they’ve been working on for a while. “We’ve done the façade between Harvey Nicks and Harrods,” he says. “It looks really cool! I wasn’t involved in the beginning, so I can’t claim the design; but I’ve been looking after it. We commissioned most of it before Christmas, but there are two listed buildings we’ve been waiting for. “Dealing with listed buildings is quite tricky. You need to work out what planners will accept, and to try and keep things as discrete as possible. You have to provide

an incredible amount of detail. They want to know where every nut, bolt and cable will go. And they want to see pictures. See visualisations, see drawings; everything. It’s so complicated.” Theobald credits advances in technology, such as the slimline nature of LEDs, for helping in such situations. Small packages make it easier to hide sources. And hiding sources is always ideal. Theobald says it was tough to convince people to even put a lighting designer on a project in the early days of his career. “I’m not saying it’s easy now,” he adds. “But people are starting to accept designers.” He reckons people are more aware of what good lighting can do for them nowadays, and it’s getting better all the time. “The profession has been slowly growing up. It takes a while. There weren’t really lighting designers before the 1980s; it’s still a very new profession.” This is where the IALD credentialing programme will come in. Theobald goes as far as to say that “as time goes on, [lighting designers] will eventually be up there with architects” and be employed right from the start of the project.

Lighting Hero: Kaoru Mende. His lighting schemes are some of the most attractive in the world. He also spends a lot of his time educating the future leaders of our profession as well as providing an Asian perspective to the IALD board. Notable projects: Burj al Arab. In addition to design of some of the guest suites, I was fortunate enough to be responsible for lighting design of Al Mahara ‘underwater’ restaurant and Al Muntaha restaurant at the top of the tower which features some of the best views in Dubai. Finsbury Avenue Square. I was proud to be part of the team on this IALD Award winning project which has stood the test of time and is as impressive today as when it was installed. Most memorable project: National Maritime Museum Cornwall. Being involved in the construction of a new museum was really exciting. The project had so many different facets from a traditional museum gallery, to a ‘daylit’ gallery featuring real boats suspended from the ceiling to an interactive multimedia experience telling the stories of some of the boats and people associated with them. Designing for flexibility of future exhibitions was a particular challenge. Current projects: Russian Impressionism Museum (new purpose built gallery to house privately owned art collection), South Bank Tower (repurposing of existing office tower into residential and mixed use development), Battersea Power Station Phase 1 (initial development of 840 luxury apartments and associated public realm), Embassy Gardens (major residential development adjacent to the new American Embassy in Nine Elms).

Profile for Mondiale Publishing

mondo*arc Jun/Jul 2014 - Issue 79  

mondo*arc is the leading international magazine in architectural lighting design. Targeted specifically at the lighting specification market...

mondo*arc Jun/Jul 2014 - Issue 79  

mondo*arc is the leading international magazine in architectural lighting design. Targeted specifically at the lighting specification market...

Profile for mondiale