STIR Publication - mondo*arc india issue#08 May/Jun2016

Page 1

Front Cover Heydar Aliyev Centre, Baku, Azerbaijan (an abstract visual by mondo*arc india) “If Paul Klee took a line for a walk, then Zaha took the surfaces that were driven by that line out for a virtual dance and then deftly folded them over and then took them out for a journey into space.” - Sir Peter Cook (as part of a citation written in honour of Zaha Hadid winning the RIBA 2016 Royal Gold Medal)

Zaha hadid

An architectural powerhouse heydar aliyev centre, azerbaijan guangzhou opera house, china

at the edge of fluidity

sp+a • khosla associates • 42mm architecture studio lotus • spaces architects@ka • apical reforms

JUST around the bend

studio symbiosis + lvi • talati & panthaky + KSA • studio archohm m:ofa studio • seema puri & zarir mullan • James law cybertecture

archana & rupesh baid, and design co. • alfaz miller, ABM Architects abin design studio • Sean o'connor • haberdashery • SOU FUJIMOTO rat[lab] interiors • lyle & linus lopez • maurice brill lighting design • lightstones

experience what you don’t see

LIGHT a tool for spatial articulation and the creation of perceptual dimensions




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38 Dame Zaha Hadid Pic: Brigitte Lacombe

details 010 Editorial Comment Editor’s Note. 012 Contributors Professionals that contributed to the issue. 014 Eye Opener Windlicht (Windlight), the latest work of Studio Roosegaarde. 016 Focal Point Lookup HQ, Bangalore. 018 Spotlight A selection of projects with a wow factor from around the world. 022 Snapshot Sean O’Connor Lighting. 024 Folio AND Design Co. 028 Lighting Talk In conversation with Alfaz Miller, ABM Architects. 034 darc Awards Launch of the darc Awards 2016. In Issue #07, we mistakenly misspelt the name of lighting designer Suma Khandige in the article ‘Leading Ladies of Lighting’ (pg. 070). Also, Khandige’s answer was repeated in Tilottama Nandy’s questionnaire by error (pg.080). The correct caption for the top right image (pg. 081) should be ‘The Dasavatara Hotel, Tirupati. We apologize for the errors.

FEATURE STORY Zaha Hadid 038 An Architectural Powerhouse 048 Tribute to Zaha Hadid by Bidisha Sinha Shajay Bhooshan Sushant Verma Britta Knobel Gupta Amit Gupta 054 Understanding Hadid, Through Light and Architecture 056 ZHA: Heydar Aliyev Centre, Azerbaijan 064 ZHA: Guangzhou Opera House, China


PROJECTS 072 At the Edge of Fluidity An Introduction. 074 Pool House, New Delhi 42mm sculpts an artistic new extension to a 20 year old postmodern concrete house. 078 Paarijat Residence, Ahmedabad Apical Reforms stamp the penthouse with fluid elements, while lighting adds to the contemporary aesthetics. 082 Creo Retail Store, Mumbai Envisioning a building within a building, Sameep Padora transforms a retail store into a sculptural shopping experience. 086 Volvo Eicher Corporate Showcase, Gurgaon Wrapping its double stranded design scheme around the exhibition space, Studio Lotus designs a showcase for the corporate group. 090 Cubix Office, New Delhi Spaces Architects@ka explore the myriad ways in which a small office space facilitates fluidity in form as well as function. 094 Aura Spa & Carbon Restaurant, The Park, Hyderabad Responding to one brief for two projects, Khosla Associates create distinguished spaces for distinct programs.





116 Abin Design Studio

PROJECTS 098 Just Around the Bend An Introduction. 098 Athletic Ripples, Raibareilly Studio Symbiosis + Light Vision India 100 National Institute of Water Sports, Goa M:OFA Studio 102 Riverfront Development, Kanpur Studio Symbiosis + Light Vision India 104 Commercial Building, Pune Seema Puri and Zarir Mullan, SEZA 106 Allahabad Masterplan, Allahabad Studio Symbiosis + Light Vision India 108 Parag Parlour and Museum, Lucknow studio archohm 110 Double Tree Hotel, Ahmedabad Studio Symbiosis + Light Vision India 112 Pan Asian Restaurant, Mumbai Talati and Panthaky Associated Designers LLP + KSA, Kanchan Puri Shetty 114 Mumbai University and ASK Foundation Convention Centre, Mumbai James Law Cybertecture

ART & DESIGN 116 Pavilion of Canopies, Bansberia, West Bengal Abin Design Studio’s ethereal installation. 118 Media Architecture M. Hank Haeusler examines media architecture and digital placemaking. 124 Leaves of Luxury Bespoke lighting sculptures by Haberdashery using traditional bone china. 128 Panorama of the Skies Interactive audiovisual installation by artist Maja Petric and researcher Hrvoje Benko. 130 Clover and Les Cordes, Paris Mathieu Lehanneur explores science and a humanistic approach in product design. 134 Forest of Light Sou Fujimoto collaborates with COS for Salone del Mobile 2016, Milan. 136 LightStones Self-illuminating jewellery by Ingo

TECHNOLOGY 142 Case Study Lasvit at Milan Design Week Light + Building 2016 144 Lyle and Linus Lopez roam L+B. 149 Luminale. 152 An overview - brands. 156 A selection of decorative products. 160 David Morgan lists his top 10. 162 Event Calendar Your global show and conference guide.

Kalecinski and Tommaso Gimigliano. 138 Amorphous Surfaces Multi-use furniture by rat[LAB] Interiors. 140 IALD India Light Workshops Workshop #02 - CSIIT School of Architecture, Secunderabad.

* The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed by the various authors in this magazine do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, viewpoints or official policies of mondo*arc india.



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[editorial] When an immensely adroit artiste defines another so fittingly, we step back to enjoy the artistry of their words. On occasion of her winning the RIBA 2016 Gold Medal, Sir Peter Cook described the extraordinary Zaha Hadid “If Paul Klee took a line for a walk, then Zaha took the surfaces that were driven by that line out for a virtual dance and then deftly folded them over and then took them out for a journey into space.” The first woman to win a Pritzker Prize for her unimaginable work in the field of design, Hadid left this world too soon; but not before offering us a legacy brimming with inspiration and aspiration alike. Known too often as the ‘Queen of the Curve’, a title that perhaps obliterates her early experiments with what Sir Peter Cook describes as ‘spikey’, I would say Hadid was more of a designer that sat at the ‘Edge’ of ‘Fluidity’. We pull our pages together in tribute to one of the greatest architects in the modern world, and we celebrate her life through her incredulous work. Colleagues and former associates pen their thoughts and remember Hadid as a mentor, who was fiercely firm but inherently nurturing. Her personality is surreptitiously reflected in her work, as we see in the Heydar Aliyev Centre (pg.56), gracefully emerging from the ground in all its silvery sinuous splendour, while the Guangzhou Opera House (pg. 64) delicately softens the edges of its fractal faces. Hadid’s distinguished flair became the driving force behind this issue, titling it, ‘At the Edge of Fluidity’. We present a curation of works by designers from across India, who have responded in their own right to this notion. Architects such as 42mm Architecture, Khosla Associates, sP+a, Studio Lotus, Apical Reforms and Spaces Architects@ka have created sculptural structures and invigorating interiors that reflect a fluidity in style and edge in experience. These swinging strokes are gaining ground with design practices that are painting the Indian canvas in a palette of continuous curves and flowing forms. The experimental vocabulary is challenging covenants to shape (a part of) the future of design in India. ‘Just Around the Bend’ (pg. 98) you will find Studio Symbiosis, M:OFA Studio, SEZA (Seema Puri and Zarir Mullan), studio archohm, Jame Law Cybertecture, and Talati and Panthaky Associated Designers; some of who are collaborating with lighting design consultants such as Light Vision India (LVI) and Kanchan Shetty Associates (KSA) to breath a refreshing ‘light’ into their work. This issue is special in its own way, as all of them are; for the sheer inspiration that we derive from it. We thank Zaha Hadid Architects for their immense support and willingness to work on this with us. We also thank our two special correspondents, lighting designers Lyle and Linus Lopez who ventured into frosty Frankfurt for Light + Building 2016, and returned with a concoction of stories, some about dated trends and others about how the ‘Future Will Be Confusing’ (pg. 144). In tribute, a mondo bow. Mrinalini Ghadiok


Editor, mondo*arc india Mrinalini Ghadiok Editor, mondo*arc UK Paul James


Art Director Vrinda Bhageria Sr. Designer Kewal Singh


Manisha Singh

Finance Dilip Shah

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Commercial Manoj Mishra


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BIDISHA SINHA Graduating with a Master’s degree from the Architectural Association following an undergraduate diploma from the TVB School of Habitat Studies, Sinha joined Zaha Hadid Architects in 2005. With more than a decade of experience delivering international architectural projects, she also has extensive experience liaising with public authorities and project stakeholders on high profile projects around the world. Sinha has been a visiting critic in architecture schools in both India and UK, and is currently an Associate at ZHA. In this issue: Sinha recounts her experience and interactions with Zaha, whom she considered a mentor and great source of inspiration.

SHAJAY BHOOSHAN Bhooshan completed his undergraduate studies at Indraprastha Open University, post which he did a Master’s degree at the Architectural Association. Joining Zaha Hadid Architects in 2007, he specialized in the conception and production of architecture, from theoretical discourses to manufacturing technologies. He is an expert in computation, with specialized knowledge in programming, mathematics and computer-controlled industrial machines including industrial robotics. Bhooshan is also the co-founder of CODE, ZHA’s computational design research group, and is currently practicing at the London office. In this issue: Bhooshan remembers Zaha Hadid as a remarkable woman, a beacon who created not just enthusing architecture, but left a legacy in her works.

Amit Gupta Graduating with an M.Arch from the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London, Gupta went on to work with Zaha Hadid Architects in 2006. In 2010 he established his own practice, Studio Symbiosis with partner Britta Knobel Gupta. Computational design overlapped with sustainable solutions that can be achieved with parametric feedback loops are important techniques of investigation for Gupta’s design work. Looking to constantly push the boundaries of architecture and urban design, his work with spatial concepts encompasses all fields of design, from urban scale to interiors and furniture. Winning numerous international and national awards and accolades, Gupta has also been a speaker at TEDx Germany. In this issue: Gupta recounts his years at Zaha Hadid’s office and writes a tribute to the great Dame herself.

Britta Knobel Gupta Born in Germany, trained in UK and practicing in India, Gupta embarked on her architectural studies in Konstanz, moving to Lyon and further to the Architectural Association in London. Joining Zaha Hadid Architects in 2006, she was involved in a number of seminal projects as Lead Project Architect, such as the Abu Dhabi Performing Arts Centre. Having taught in architectural institutes in UK, Germany and India, Gupta is a keen educator and is known for her notable works that look to push boundaries in architecture and seek to embed sustainability in the design. Co-founding Studio Symbiosis with partner Amit Gupta, she has a number of awards in her name and has also been a speaker at TEDx Germany, among other prominent forums. In this issue: Gupta reminisces her time at ZHA, working closely with Hadid and how their interactions have influenced her work and life.


LYLE and LINUS LOPEZ Until 2004, the consultancy firm of Lirio Lopez, in which Lyle and Linus are partners, focused mainly on electrical services. Both brothers wanted to work in a more creative environment, and at the instance of some well-wishers they began a re-invention of their technical selves with some creative exercise in lighting design. This coincided with an interesting period of technology developments in the lighting industry, and opened a huge canvas of opportunity for anyone with the ability and willingness to merge the art and the physics of light. Their firm loves the challenge of thinking differently, and currently works in a hugely diversified portfolio of projects, which includes homes, galleries, museums, theater, monuments, landscapes, hospitality, and entertainment. In this issue: Lyle and Linus travel to Frankfurt to review the Light+Building 2016.

Sourabh Gupta Graduating from CEPT in architecture, TU Delft in urban design, and propelled by a compulsive need to design, explore and travel, Gupta founded studio archohm in 2000. Working with varied typologies, he has forayed into design education and research. He is constantly seeking directions in contemporary Indian architecture with global insight, and strives for cross-cultural dialogues to collaborate with relevant international architecture and design firms for selected projects. In this issue: Gupta reflects on the works of Zaha Hadid and salutes the Dame who established her own school of thought.

DevyaniJayakar Jayakar has been Consulting Editor of Inside Outside magazine for over six years and contributes regularly to several publications. An abiding fascination with the complex nuances of language, culminated in a Master’s degree in English Literature and a post graduate Diploma in Communications Media. Convinced that there is nothing more addictive than luxury, an unrepentantly indulgent taste for all the finer things in life leads her to write on a variety of lifestyle topics, including interiors, design, architecture and art. In this issue: Jayakar unearths a distinct architectural style in the projects - Cubix office, Creo retail store and a private penthouse.

ASTHA SAINI Saini is an open minded, skeptical and curious Creative Director at Unbox. She is a lighting designer with twelve years of international experience focusing predominantly on the high-end hospitality sector. She is also an artist that lines emotions with ink on paper, an avid writer as well as a storyteller. Saini most enjoys logic in design theory and writing about people and places that inspire a design dose. She is a certified tea sommelier with a lasting love affair with chai. In this issue: Saini reviews the Pool House and the myriad reflections that outline its curves in light.

SUSHANT VERMA Verma is an architect and computational designer, currently leading a research organization, rat[LAB] - Research in Architecture & Technology. Former architect at Zaha Hadid Architects and a Sr. Editor at Arch2O, he holds teaching positions at a number of universities internationally. He is the founder of rat[LAB] EDUCATION, an initiative to spread the idea of computation in the design profession and education in India. Awarded and recognised for his work, Verma has published and exhibited across the globe. His current research interests are focused on relationship studies between simplicity and complexity, ‘super-complexity’ and parametric design. His work also investigates in computation involved in digital fabrication and computational tool development for optimizing architectural processes. In this issue: Verma pens a tribute for Zaha Hadid, one of his greatest mentors.



eye opener Windlicht, Kinderdijk, Netherlands Windlicht (Windlight), the latest work of Studio Roosegaarde, is a dance of bright lines between the windmills of Dutch village Kinderdijk. Special software and tracking technology detects the windmill blades rotating at 280km/hour. At the same time, green lines of light connect the blades, creating a dynamic play of light and movement. Daan Roosegaarde, Founder of Studio Roosegaarde explained: “Windlicht creates the missing link between the Dutch and the beauty of our new landscape.” Inspired by Kinderdijk, Roosegaarde sees these windmills - dating back to 1740 - as a perfect example of Dutch innovation. Additionally, he is driven by the reconnection with the landscape and creation of a positive image around green energy. Developed together with a team of designers and engineers, Windlicht is supported by ICT services specialist KPN, who became climate neutral this year and has been exclusively using green energy generated in the Netherlands since 2011. Visitors can tune into radio channel Windlicht FM 105.3 FM to hear the stories behind the artwork.


Pic: Studio Roosegaarde



focal point Lookup hq bangalore, india Alok Shetty of Bhumi Putra Architecture has designed Lookup’s new offices based on one core principle: the requirement of flexible, open workspaces for a young, dynamic team. The vision was to design a space that was minimal yet confident and most importantly efficient. Workstations in the 5,000 sq.ft. space range from standing desks to tables that people can write on, to cozy wall seats. A cluster of bright red old-school telephone booths are used for Skype calls and at the very centre, a semi-circular amphitheatre - nicknamed The Pitch - transforms from brainstorming arena by day, to a recreational hub by night, featuring a cascade of filament lamps to bring a warm and pleasant ambience to the space.


Pic: Nimish Jain



[spotlight] The latest projects with the wow factor from around the world.

Pics: Paco Gómez

Self-portrait The digital camera is a technological revolution that has led to a radical shift in how we express ourselves, share our life and communicate with others. Platforms such as Instagram, Flickr, Photobucket, Tumblr and Picasa have changed the way we write our biographies and have heralded the death of the traditional family photo album. The recent rise of the selfie has engendered a new generation of photography that straddles the selfportrait and conversational photography; today, images are photographic messages or visual stories. The (SELFI) exhibition by Spanish-Mexican artist Darya von Berner, produced for the

old cold storage room at the former Madrid Municipal slaughterhouse, is a perspective on the perception, attention, ecology and the selfie culture. There are two key figures in this art project: the Abierto x Obras gallery and its active visitors. Thanks to the organic and creative lighting, the visitors can enjoy the site in its totality for the first time. The architectural space itself has been doubled, implying a selfie of itself, an imaginary and magnificent self-portrait. Only by paying close attention to the work is a new image revealed to its visitors through observing themselves and by being observed by others.

In relation to the project, SELFI: a Spanish adaptation of the English term selfie, has been chosen as the word of the year by FUNDEU (Fundación del Español Urgente). Von Berner studied at the School of Visual Arts in New York and completed her education alongside artists Antonio López, Tony Crag and Jannis Kounellis. She is currently a resident artist in Luxembourg working on the project BeHave/Public Art Experience. In 2015 she created installations at the Amsterdam Light Festival, the Tschumipaviljoen (Groningen, Netherlands) and Paisagem de luz (Bahia, Brazil).

Jal Mahal, Jaipur, India


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Pics: Paul Warchol

Well-roiled machine New York-based architectural lighting designer and light artist Christine Sciulli’s project ROIL, is a geometry based sitespecific light projection installation. ROIL, an eight-channel video projection installation onto nylon mesh which measures 35ft high x 55ft long x 28ft wide, was installed at Brooklyn’s Smack Mellon gallery this past winter. Circles of light expand and collapse through Smack Mellon’s cavernous raw space in a frenzy, which harkons back to the roiling steam issued from it’s ten boilers to power the surrounding paper factories of industrialist Robert Gair. ROIL was created by projecting circles that fall away into 2,000 yards of hand pinned translucent netting. Extending out from eight video projectors mounted at various angles, the cylinders are viewed off axis as they are caught and mapped through the fabric’s threads to a height of 35ft, seeming to be arbitrary squiggles.

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[snapshot] Founded in 1997 Sean O’Connor Lighting is dedicated to the design of environments that are a synthesis of light and space. Its work is distinguished by light and its absence, and by an understanding that light is an integral part of the architectural experience. The practice’s signature approach defines space through light, creating visual destinations. COACH RODeO DRIVE FLAGSHIP LOS ANGELES, USA As part of Coach’s redesign of its retail environments, the Rodeo Drive flagship was the first to implement the new Modern Luxury concept. The client brief, based on early 20th Century modernist design, mandated the feel of a luxury residence while maintaining proper merchandise lighting. As a result, a detailed lighting concept demanding high levels of coordination amongst design disciplines was developed. Minimal maintenance and an LPD well below California’s Title24 were achieved through using nearly all LED sources assuring this concept can be used in almost any domestic energy code.

Irene Neuwirth LOS ANGELES, USA The first free-standing retail location for famed jewellery designer Irene Neuwirth required a presence worthy of the line’s reputation and its location on iconic Melrose Place. The owner and interior designers working with a fast-paced schedule and lean budget sought the feel of a luxury residence for the shop. With this non-typical design brief for a jewellery store, the lighting designers allowed decorative lighting and internally illuminated cases using concealed linear and directional LED sources to create the visual identity of the store’s lighting.


Edgar N. Putman Pavilion at James A. Michener Art Museum DOYLESTON, USA The addition of the Edgar Putman Pavilion at the James A. Michener Art Museum is an exercise in minimalist detailing. The 2,500sqft space is intended to house a multitude of functions requiring a simple and adaptive lighting solution. Taking a cue from the surrounding architecture, the lighting design incorporates linear slots to conceal not only lighting but all other building systems, resulting in clean ceiling planes that echo the twenty foot high curtain wall outside. Given the straightforward fixture palate, lighting equipment costs were kept to a minimum allowing additional project dollars to be utilised toward coordinating the project across all disciplines resulting in this visually stunning architectural jewel box.

VENTURE CAPITAL OFFICE DOYLESTON, USA Lean, green and technology savvy was the brief for the design and construction of this two level Silicon Valley Venture Capital office building. Built from prefabricated modules of wood, steel, terrazzo and glass, the highly coordinated and detailed lighting design consists exclusively of LED luminaires. Only three fixture types were used for the interior – two of which were

custom developed specifically for this project. Through the use of bleeding edge LED technology, software-based lighting controls with daylight harvesting and a building management system, a lighting design that is intelligent, responsive and comfortable with an interior connected load of only 0.62w/sf was easily accomplished.

SEAN O’CONNOR LIGHTING PRINCIPAL: Sean O’Connor • ESTABLISHED: 1997 • HEAD OFFICE: Los Angeles, USA • EMPLOYEES: 14 CURRENT PROJECTS: Sephora stores, multiple locations; Waldorf-Astoria, Beverly Hills, CA; Mission Bay Arena, San Francisco, CA; Netflix Corporate HQ, Los Angeles, CA; Carolina Herrera, Beverly Hills, CA; Fred Segal, Los Angeles, CA; Red Bull TV, Santa Monica, CA.



[folio] Our regular feature highlighting the importance of lighting in the work of a design practice. This issue, we present AND Design Co.

Pic: Nitin Bagkar

Spearheaded by Archana and Rupesh Baid, AND Design Co. is a decade old, Mumbai based boutique firm that has built a reputation for delivering individual, bespoke solutions that are attuned to their client’s specific requirements. They pride themselves on innovative design schemes and attention to detail, using ideas of ‘Intrinsic Functionalism’

to derive intelligent solutions, which includes research, cultural trends, future essentials and sensitivity to economy and sustainability. Perceiving design as an inclusive process of collaboration with the client, developer and various consultants, they seek to engage all agencies in a relevant colloquy, culminating in the most satisfying solution to the project.

“When we design a space, we never start from given facts, materials or design elements. Instead, we put our spirit into the space, walk through it, feel it, and only then metamorphose our experiences into physical objects.”


BHUPESH JAIN APARTMENT Chennai, Tamil Nadu The young client’s desire for a contemporary residence was addressed by creating spaces through art and light. A bold pattern across the entry floor, flanked by darkened walls finished in high gloss, accentuated by chic furniture pieces, establishes a statement as soon as one enters the house. The minimalist approach is complimented with a riot of colours in the impressive artwork that waits in greeting. While the volume is calmly illuminated with a single downlight, focal points such as the painting is accentuated using iGuzzini Laser Blade wall washers. A similar design language follows through in the interiors as well. The entertainment room, although completed in muted tones of beige and brown, is washed in bright daylight from a large window. At night, friends are welcomed in a subtle glow, which is achieved by ceiling recessed downlights that create pools of light over the seating areas. Alternately, LED strips concealed in the ceiling cove can be adjusted to brighten the space for varied function. Pics: Santosh Raj



Pics: Santosh Raj

KOCHAR HOMES CORPORATE OFFICE Chennai, Tamil Nadu Rendered in a muted colour palette dominated by whites and peppered with the symbolic canary yellow of the Kochar Homes logo, the corporate office stands far from conventional real estate workplaces. Flooded with intense daylight from floor to ceiling windows that run the length of

the space, the office is left bright, fresh and welcoming. Thus, fulfilling much of the required illumination levels, which are further complimented with ceiling recessed downlights in large spaces and concealed coves along room peripheries. Importance is given to functional lighting, keeping

decorative elements to a minimum. The bare surfaces are adorned with carefully selected artworks that introduce colour, fun and a sense of ease in the otherwise formal ambience.


MAHESH KUMAR APARTMENT Chennai, Tamil Nadu The 4000 sq. ft. duplex apartment is finished in an intentional palette of greys and browns, with simplistic furniture in clean lines and fine details. The contemporary style is carried through in the lighting intent, designed predominantly for functional use, peppered with decorative elements to accentuate important moments in the space. While the living room houses a series of downlights that cast a cool ambient glow to the space, directional spotlights highlight artwork and circulation paths. The dining area is celebrated with a striking bespoke chandelier from Summer Lights, Hong Kong that mimics a series of upturned wine glasses above the table, while downlights add to the ambient glow. A large wall covered in wallpaper that alludes to frosted glass windows, flanks the alluring staircase leading to the upper storey. LED strips concealed between the marble and wood of each tread, create a dramatic effect as one makes their way up. The space is rendered in a timeless comfort most fitting for its clients.

Pics: Santosh Raj

SHAH RESIDENCE Chennai, Tamil Nadu

Pics: Santosh Raj

Catering to a desired influx of natural light in the day, the house is punctuated with large openings in its façade. While the living room volume is filled with a bright uniform light in the day, after dark the space transforms into a subtle and cozy ambience. Vertical surfaces are washed with concealed coves running along the edges of the ceiling giving ample ambient illumination. Meanwhile, the eye is drawn to decorative elements such as table lamps placed strategically at corners and an exquisite glass and ceramic chandelier suspended in the centre of the space. A large multipurpose room serves the purpose of a study and play-area for the client’s twin daughters in the day and can easily be turned into a family theatre at night. Colour changing LED strips hidden in coves graze the textured ceiling, rendering the space in varying moods. Independently controlled luminaires allow for greater flexibility in creating the right ambience and accommodating diverse functions in the same space.



[lighting talk] mondo*arc india speaks with Alfaz Miller, a venerated architect who has worked across the spectrum from small projects composed with careful artistry, to a highly specialised vocabulary of interior design, to medium and large works for private individuals, corporates and institutions. Establishing his practice in 1972, ABM Architects today is considered one of the most respected practices in the country. Pic: Sebastian Zachariah


First Class and Business Class Lounge Mumbai International Airport Pic: Sameer Parekh

COULD YOU TELL US… …what made you become an architect. Architecture to me, represents a satisfying amalgamation of creativity and logic. I have always loved to sketch. Although I was never too interested in pursuing a pure science or a pure mathematical stream, I was keen on attaining a professional degree. …about your first explorations with light. My first exploration with light was in 1989, when I did the interior restoration and fit out for the ANZ Grindlays Bank on M. G. Road in Mumbai. The ceiling height in the main banking hall was 25 feet and the prevalent lighting scheme comprised of tube lights suspended 10 feet above the ground. Given the grand scale of the space, the colonial arches, columns and mouldings, this was an absolutely undesirable setting. I used 250mm diameter down lights fitted with MR industrial lamps to light the space. The fixtures were flushed with the false ceiling and did not conflict with the architectural elements. At the same time, they provided adequate light levels at the correct and desirable colour temperature. …about the ABM working methodology and its approach to light and lighting. At ABM Architects, we strive to obtain maximum natural light with the use

Bay Leaf Restaurant, Bhopal Pic: Sebastian Zachariah

Dainik Bhaskar Office, Mumbai Pic: Sebastian Zachariah



First Class and Business Class Lounge Mumbai International Airport Pic: Sameer Parekh

of appropriate glazing while ensuring adequate protection against heat and glare. We prefer to use the least number of fixtures, for the right amount of light. I strongly feel that a lighting effect and its efficiency is far more important than the look of the light fixtures, at least as far as functional light is concerned. …how important is lighting in your designs. The right kind of lighting is extremely important for any project, natural light being paramount. Artificial ambient light

and accents are vital to bring forth the true colour and texture of materials, and to set the mood of the interior space. Additionally, facade lighting can highlight architectural elements of the building, while garden lighting sets the tone of the landscape. …how you approach lighting a building through architecture. I prefer to carefully and selectively highlight architectural elements with light, rather than floodlight a building.

…how natural light plays a pivotal role in some of your works, and how you consciously absolve physical boundaries and perimeters. As mentioned earlier, natural light is the best. We provide deep overhangs on the west and south facades of buildings located in Western India. This prevents direct sunlight and the consequent heat and glare from entering a building. We supplement this design practice with the use of low-e glass, and also recommend window shades, and in some instances, skylights.


“Our policy ‘the client comes first’ forms the core of all the projects we undertake – whether it is a township, a corporate office, a retail outlet or a private villa. It also dictates how we function as a design and architecture firm. We listen, carefully and intently, and understand our client’s requirements, both explicit and implicit. We not only create, we collaborate. This helps us to deliver design that is sensible, controlled, user-specific, contextual and intuitive. Design that stays true to its intent. Design that scores high on functionality and aesthetics. Design that stands the test of time.”

…about some of your projects that straddle the outside and inside space. My favourite project that straddles the outside and inside is the Jindal Guest House in Vasind, Maharashtra. It has an unconventional plan with enclosed spaces that are juxtaposed with open ones. The pavilion affords well-lit areas by day, and intimate indoor and outdoor areas at night. …how do you transform from daylight to artificial light in your spaces? I use carefully selected light sources that

mimic daylight. Their colour temperature plays a critical role in interior projects. Balancing the colour temperature can ensure that the transition from the outdoor to indoor is seamless. …about the importance of shadow and the balance of darkness with respect to light in your work. Balancing light and darkness is critical. I dislike ‘flat’ lighting; it is the play of light and shadow that gives life to forms. One can not work without the other.



Jindal Residence, New Delhi Pic: Amit Mehra

…about the role lighting plays in the life of a city? And how do you contribute to it through your work? Lighting is important and should complement the architecture and landscape of a city. The Taj Vivanta in Begumpet, Hyderabad, stands out prominently from the urban chaos because of its facade lighting – which is cleverly done with minimum intrusion and maximum effect. …if light were a magic wand in the hands of an architect, how would you use it to change the experience of a space? If lighting were a magic wand, I would use it to emphasise ‘good architecture’ and hide ‘bad architecture’. …why there seems to be an inherent lack in awareness about lighting, and its importance in architecture. There is a lack in awareness about what good lighting can do for a project. Most architects and interior designers feel that lighting is functional. However, good lighting for me is sublime; it affects my impression of a space and is capable of setting the right mood.

IndusInd Bank Prototype Pic: Prashant Bhat

Niranta Hotel, Mumbai Pic: Sebastian Zachariah


“What I respond to is the scope to attempt something new, where there is a clear client’s brief, but without endless interference.” …whether you think there is an intrinsic need for dedicated lighting education, courses, institutes, conferences, or magazines. Absolutely! Lighting to me is very serious business, best left in the hands of professionals. …about the best and the worst illuminated places you have visited. The best - Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, Terminal 2. The worst - the white LED street lighting at Marine Drive in Mumbai. …how you would best describe architecture. Good architecture is a treat to the senses; it affects my perception of a space and my mood. Reliance Chemotex Office, Mumbai Pic: Sebastian Zachariah

Nitco Bizpark, Thane Pic: Sebastian Zachariah



darc awards 2016 launchED at L+B with Dimple

Following the success of the inaugural darc awards last year, Light+Building was the stage for the launch of the second edition, together with the official launch of BYBEAU's Dimple that won the 2015 darc awards, best decorative lighting product. The Dimple chandelier, winning the 2015 darc award for the best decorative lighting product was a major turning point for BYBEAU, an international design studio specialising in high end lighting installations and product design. Beau McClellan, the artist and designer who gives his name to the company whilst assuming its creative direction, was particularly pleased with the award as his extraordinary luminaire was voted on by international lighting designers as their favourite decorative lighting product. “I was absolutely delighted to win the darc award – it's always great to receive confirmation you are on the right track, especially from darc who truly understand our world of lighting, even more so because it was voted on by independent lighting designers all over the world. We make our art for our audience, so something like this feels like a little ovation. The general

response after receiving the award has been immense." Indeed, the positive reaction to winning the darc award gave BYBEAU the momentum to participate in Light+Building and officially launch the Dimple collection at the show. The Dimple Installation at Light+Building would only reveal itself when a viewer remained still. The installation comprised of over 400 mirrored units that surrounded the viewer in a unique sensory environment. By taking a moment of stillness amid the chaos Dimple would start to interact with you – and the longer you stay motionless, the more it will reveal. The project was an exercise in creating a feeling of sentience, with a character and even a voice of its own; a playful, reactive entity expressing itself through light and sound. The debut marks a new approach to lighting design. Dimple reaches out, invites you to see through it, anything is possible.

BYBEAU's stand was also the perfect platform for the official launch of the 2016 darc awards. Whilst darc and mondo*arc were already exhibiting at the show (at 4.1 FOY16), the chance to co-host an event with a darc awards winner was too good an opportunity to miss for the darc awards director, Paul James. “When Beau approached us to do something together at Light+Building, I had no hesitation in accepting. It made perfect sense to officially launch the 2016 darc awards at the show and, to do it with a previous winner has great synergy. We looked forward to the immersive experience. And it was spectacular.” The Dimple unit was always designed as an integration of light into art rather than art into lighting; a unique sensory expression that harmonises with natural light in the day - only to burst into life by night. Light is such a great communicator; so natural


Pics on this page: Vasco Célio

and innate. Reactive and sympathetic, it can inform and express our moods and emotions; seeming to have a life if its own. Of course, awards are all well and good but without commercial success, the process is meaningless. This hasn't been a problem for BYBEAU as the projects have rolled in since the victory. One of the first was a high end residential project in the Algarve, Portugal. A new plug and play RGBW chip was specially designed to give total control over each unit - the possibilities limited only by imagination. The client has true interactivity; with different moods and ambiences reactive to a range of stimuli. Different temperatures and movements are interpreted and expressed by Dimple to create an art installation of unlimited variability. The piece was designed to be functional as a more traditional chandelier working with different temperatures of white

light, easily dimmable to play with the intensity of the mirror coating. Careful consideration was involved in integrating this piece into the client’s lifestyle, the intention to provide complete control of ambience and mood as quickly and intuitively as possible. Pausing to manipulate technology only serves to distract away from the interactivity of the piece. When switched on, the pioneering twoway mirror-coated finish unveils an extra interior hand-blown glass ball. A playful expression of the whimsy of imagination; transitioning throughout the day, a magical twist to any ambiance - Dimple is meant to be used and enjoyed, duality all part of its charm and intention.

Facing Page Paul James, director of the darc awards and editor of darc / mondo*arc, on stage at the darc awards 2015. The 2016 editions will be split into architectural and decorative events with the architectural event taking place in London on September 15th. The decorative event will take place in London in May 2017. Top The Dimple collection, a series of interactive chandeliers made with hand-blown glass pendants designed by Beau McClellan, won the best decorative lighting product at the 2015 darc awards.


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MAY 2017 / LOND ON



zaha hadid

Pic: Alberto Heras


Sketch: Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art, Cincinnati Courtesy ZHA

ZAHA HADID AN ARCHITECTURAL POWERHOUSE 31 March 2016 marked the end of an era, a design epoch that was celebrated with bold strokes forming the most delicate curves, the heavy hand that effortlessly rolled ink onto paper to create masterpieces of art and building, with equal ease. Dame Zaha Hadid passed on following a brief illness, leaving in her wake a legend, a sense of awe, but most of all inspiration for a world full of creative thought. mondo*arc india celebrates the accomplishments of the ‘greatest female architect in the world’. 1950 – 2016


zaha hadid

MAXXI Museum of XXI Century Art, Rome Pic: Iwan Baan


Evelyn Grace Academy, London Pic: Hufton & Crow

Zaha Hadid was widely regarded to be the greatest female architect in the world today. Born in Baghdad in 1950, she studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before starting her architectural journey in 1972 at the Architectural Association in London. By 1979 she had established her own practice in London - Zaha Hadid Architects - garnering a reputation across the world for her groundbreaking theoretical works including The Peak in Hong Kong (1983), the Kurfürstendamm in Berlin (1986) and the Cardiff Bay Opera House in Wales (1994). Working with office partner Patrik Schumacher, her interest was in the interface between architecture, landscape, and geology, which her practice integrates with the use of innovative technologies often resulting in unexpected and dynamic architectural forms. Hadid’s first major built commission, one that affirmed her international recognition, was the Vitra Fire Station in Weil Am Rhein, Germany (1993); subsequent notable projects including the MAXXI: Italian National Museum of 21st Century Arts in Rome (2009), the London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011) and the Heydar Aliyev Centre in Baku (2013), which saw Maurice Brill Lighting Design work on the lighting scheme, illustrate her quest for complex, fluid space.

Buildings such as the Rosenthal Center for Contemporary Art in Cincinnati (2003) and the Guangzhou Opera House in China (2010) have also been hailed as architecture that transforms our ideas of the future with visionary spatial concepts defined by advanced design, material and construction processes. In 2004, Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In 2009, she won the UK’s most prestigious architecture award, the RIBA Stirling Prize for the MAXXI Museum in Rome, a building for the staging of 21st Century art, the distillation of years of experimentation, a mature piece of architecture conveying a calmness that belies the complexities of its form and organisation. The following year, she won the RIBA Stirling Prize once again, this time for the Evelyn Grace Academy, a unique design, expertly inserted into an extremely tight site, that shows the students, staff and local residents that they are valued, and celebrates the school’s specialism throughout its fabric, with views of student participation at every turn. The MAXXI Museum was featured in mondo*arc india Issue 03 (Jul/Aug 2015), extensively describing its shape and form, further discussing its derivation and whether the inherent architectural style of the architect is, in fact, too present in the final result. The simple fact is, that it

owes much of its dynamic expression and fluidity because of a simple response to the urban grain and fabric of its particular location in Rome. For GIA Equation, the lighting design practice fortunate enough to conceive a lighting approach for MAXXI, the natural starting point was one that supported the primary architectural and functional philosophies being developed for the project. The development of a clear architectural response within the lighting presentation to reinforce the sinuous nature of the building, to accentuate the building lines and geometrics, was solidly founded in the initial principle that was developed by Zaha Hadid Architects. An obvious expression in this respect is the high level linear lighting treatment that was developed as part of the daylight and roof light design. Not only did this treatment provide artificial light in a manner that was cognizant of the character of the daylight performance, it immediately created the benefit of accentuating building lines and forms. It is thus a direct expression of the urban response of the building. Another major benefit of this element is that it provided an integrated, primary platform within the lighting installation. This was another important principle from GIA Equation’s approach - to simplify the lighting presentation and pare it back to core


zaha hadid

London Aquatics Centre, London Pic: Hufton+Crow

functions and applications across the scheme. The basis of this ‘stripped back’ approach was again about allowing the building to clearly express itself, but it was also related to the development of a lighting response within MAXXI that would aid and communicate circulation. This indeed, became one of the primary thrusts of the lighting concept. Hadid’s other awards included the Republic of France’s Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Japan’s Praemium Imperiale and in 2012, she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire; she is also Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and Fellow of the American Institute of Architecture. The London Aquatics Centre for the 2012 Olympic Games (2011), which again, won her great acclaim, uses technologies and techniques that allowed the venue to serve the practical needs of games themselves while making provision for long-term, ‘legacy mode’ use. The building was

inspired by the fluid geometries of water in motion – a nod to both the venue’s riverside location and the activities taking place within and sees an undulating roof sweep up from the ground as a single unified wave that accommodates the different height requirements of the main swimming pool and diving pools. Zaha Hadid Architects worked alongside Arup to complete the lighting scheme for the project, which had to respect ZHA’s vision, creating minimal disruption to the venue’s fluid lines, while also presenting the interior with the drama it deserved. The significantly different requirements of the venue while in games time and in legacy mode meant effectively creating two lighting designs that would work within the same space. Arup associate Giulio Antonutto headed the team trying to balance these needs. “The main challenges were to respond with a design in keeping with the architectural intent. It was not an easy task. We had several design ideas and we considered all the traditional means of providing light

to a swimming pool, but realised that the fluid form of the roof deserved something special. Something new.” A break from traditional pool lighting, the team approached the project as if lighting a high-end retail space, introducing light where needed while ensuring minimal glare. Remembering Hadid, Antonutto said: “I remember going to Weil am Rhein in 1995 to see the Vitra fire station. It was not a journey, it was an architectural pilgrimage. We once met at the Venice Biennale, and after a conference, I asked her for a photograph together... She was my hero. At the opening of the Aquatic Centre I had tears in my eyes; and now it is all just a set of memories. She was the best and we will miss her terribly.” Also offering their condolences, Jean Sundin and Enrique Peiniger, Founders of Office for Visual Interaction said, “Our work with Zaha Hadid and her team has spanned nearly 20 years, beginning with her first project in the USA (The Rosenthal Center) to today with several projects currently


London Aquatics Centre, London Pic: Hufton+Crow

under construction in NYC, Riyadh and Morocco. Our collaboration was reinforced early on, after winning three competitions together in a row (Innsbruck Ski Jump, Phaeno Science Center, and Salerno Ferry Station). Having worked on countless projects with them all over the world, we have developed a lighting language together including ‘swarm’ patterns, ‘school of fish’, a ‘whoosh’ of light, etc. What we have appreciated most about working with Zaha Hadid is the openness to inventive ideas, determination to push the limits of technology (while also complying artistically) and the fact that lighting has always been a truly integral part of her designs, and not an afterthought. There is no doubt her loyal team will continue the dynamic work.” Hadid also held various academic roles including the Kenzo Tange Chair at the Graduate School of Design, Harvard University and the Sullivan Chair at the University of Illinois, School of Architecture. She also taught studios at Columbia University, Yale University and

Phaeno Science Centre, Germany Pic: Werner Huthmacher

Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London Pic: Luke Hayes


zaha hadid

Nordpark Railway Stations (Hungerburg Station), Innsbruck Pic: Werner Huthmacher

the University of Applied Arts in Vienna, and when not designing buildings, she turned her hand to installations, jewellery, fashion and product design. In 2013, the Vitra Fire Station was in fact the recipient of ‘Prima’, a collaboration between Hadid and Swarovski to commemorate the 20th anniversary of her breakthrough project. The installation uses advanced design technologies to translate the two-dimensional lines of a canvas drawing into a work of multidimensional art. Its five highly polished components can be moved into different configurations to create seating for visitors. Awe-inspiring and unique, the installation recalls the dynamism of Hadid’s original drawings for the Vitra Fire Station. In addition to Prima, Hadid also partnered with Swarovski to create a stunning

Phaeno Science Centre, Germany Pic: Werner Huthmacher

chandelier for the brand’s Crystal Palace. Ever pushing boundaries and challenging preconceived notions about the chandelier, Hadid drew inspiration from nanotechnology and self-organising systems, using 2,700 internally lit crystals to create her spiraling vortex of light. The chandelier relates to and interacts with - each new environment in a unique manner, constantly reinventing itself and offering exciting new possibilities. Previous to this, in 2005, Hadid and Schumacher had worked with Austrian giant Zumtobel to create the VorteXX lighting sculpture. Implemented by Sawaya & Moroni, VorteXX is a perfect symbiosis of organic lines and a surprisingly dynamic modulation of light colours. The impressive design is based on the vision of an infinite ribbon of light. Its charismatically curved outlines remind the beholder of a double helix and

seem like a continuously flowing form – weightless, impulsive and radiant. Then, in 2009, Artemide collaborated with Hadid on the Genesey table lamp and launched at Milan Design Week. The lamp’s structure increases in complexity as it rises from the floor. Like a growing organism, the central support sprouts branches that adopt a greater radial geometry to enhance the dynamic tensional forces of the structure. Commenting on Hadid’s passing Zumtobel said: “We feel honoured to have been able to work with such a powerful woman, incredible architect, dear friend but mostly a true inspiration, which Zaha Hadid will forever remain. Zaha Hadid has designed the unique Vortexx chandelier which became the first Zumtobel Masterpiece, outstanding in design, formal expression and also lighting technology using colour changing LEDs at


Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Seoul Pic: Virgile Simon Bertrand

a very early stage. Many other projects followed. We have highly appreciated the close collaboration with Zaha which was always highly professional, uncomplicated and inspiring.” Elsewhere in the lighting sector, Hadid’s more recent work with Italian brand Slamp saw the creation of Aria and Avia lighting fixtures, released in 2013. Aria is a light piece that is charged with Hadid’s dramatic sense of motion combined with the intrinsic weightlessness of technically advanced materials. With its 50 layers of Crystalflex, this suspension light has a complex harmonic yet fluid contemporary quality. With its translucent black overlay, a fascinating sculpture in light. Avia is fluid and dynamic and a miniature piece of architecture, 50 different layers of Polycarbonate transform it from a source of light into an object of admiration with soft, amplified tones and reflections. In response to Hadid’s demise, Slamp released a statement that read: “Those of you who have followed us for several years know perfectly that Zaha’s influence has touched our company, and you can imagine how devastating her passing has been for all of us. We have promised her that our mission, and above all, our honour, will be to ensure that her light continues to shine brightly.” At last year’s Milan Design Week WonderGlass introduced the Luma and Swarm pieces in collaboration with Hadid. WonderGlass focuses on interactive installations that can not only be seen but also be touched. The seamless dialogue of subtle and

Messner Mountain Museum Corones, Italy Pic: Inexhibit

elegant refractions onto organic surfaces is magnified by the presence of Swarm, a statement chandelier. Composed of black crystal volumes suspended in dynamic forms, the intricately layered spatial composition of the chandelier presets itself as a unified whole. From underneath, its separated crystal suspensions can be distinguished, emphasising unity without the restrictions of symmetry. The Luma chandelier is another sculptural composition of four tubular segments that

follow a radial trajectory and dramatically transform into diamond-shaped luminaires to subtly diffuse light with their materiality. Informed by the precise mathematical principles that define natural surface tension, each individual glass segment has been hand-blown and celebrates the unrivalled logic and beauty found within nature. These creations for WonderGlass testify Hadid’s focus on quality and exploration.


zaha hadid

Aria by Slamp Pic: Courtesy Slamp

Swarm Collaboration Established & Sons - Wonderglass

Lamellae Double Ring Cuff for Georg Jensen Pic: Courtesy ZHA

VorteXX by Zumbotel Pic: Courtesy Zumtobel Lighting

Lamellae Cuff for Georg Jensen Pic: Courtesy ZHA


“…if Paul Klee took a line for a walk, then Zaha took the surfaces that were driven by that line out for a virtual dance and then deftly folded them over and then took them out for a journey into space.” - Sir Peter Cook

Zaha Hadid receiving the Riba Sterling Pic: Philip Vile

Recently awarded the RIBA 2016 Royal Gold Medal, Hadid became the first woman to be awarded the prestigious honour in her own right. Sir Peter Cook wrote the following citation in response, which perfectly sums up her influence on the industry: In our current culture of ticking every box, surely Zaha Hadid succeeds, since (to quote the Royal Gold Medal criteria) she is someone who has made a significant contribution to the theory or practice of architecture…. for a substantial body of work rather than for work which is currently fashionable. Indeed her work, though full of form, style and unstoppable mannerism, possesses a quality that some of us might refer to as an impeccable ‘eye’: which we would claim is a fundamental in the consideration of special architecture and is rarely satisfied by mere ‘fashion’. And surely her work is special. For three decades now, she has ventured where few would dare: if Paul Klee took a line for a walk, then Zaha took the surfaces that were driven by that line out for a virtual dance and then deftly folded them over and then took them out for a journey into space. In her earlier, ‘spikey’ period there was already a sense of vigour that she shared with her admired Russian Suprematists and Constructivists – attempting with them to capture that elusive dynamic of movement at the end of the machine age. Necessarily having to disperse effort through a studio production, rather than being a lone artist, Cook goes on to describe how Hadid cottoned–on to the potential of the computer to turn space upon itself, saying: “Indeed there is an Urban Myth that suggests that the very early Apple Mac ‘boxes’ were still crude enough to plot the mathematically unlikely – and so Zaha with her mathematics background seized upon this and made those flying machine projections of the Hong Kong Peak project and the like. Meanwhile, with paintings and special small drawings Zaha continued to lead from the front. She has also been smart enough to pull in some formidable computational talent without being phased by its ways. Thus the evolution of the ‘flowing’ rather than spikey

architecture crept up upon us in stages, as did the scale of her commissions, but in most cases, they remained clear in identity and control. When you entered the Fire Station at Vitra, you were conscious of being inside one of those early drawings and yes, it could be done. Yet at perhaps its highest, those of us lucky enough to see the Heydar Aliyev Center in Baku in the flesh, can surely never have been in such a dream-like space, with its totality, its enormous internal ramp and dart-like lights seeming to have come from a vocabulary that lies so far beyond the normal architecture that we assess or rationalise. The history of the Gold Medal must surely include many major figures who commanded a big ship and one ponders upon the operation involved that gets such strong concepts as the MAXXI in Rome – in which the power of organisation is so clear - or the Bergisel Ski Jump in Innsbruck where dynamic is at last captured – or the Aquatics Centre for the London Olympics where the lines diving boards were as fluid as the motion of the divers - made into reality. And she has done it time and time again in Vienna, Marseilles, Beijing and Guangzhou. Never has she been so prolific, so consistent. We realise that Kenzo Tange and Frank Lloyd Wright could not have drawn every line or checked every joint, yet Zaha shares with them the precious role of towering, distinctive and relentless influence upon all around her that sets the results apart from the norm. Such self-confidence is easily accepted in film-makers and football managers, but causes some architects to feel uncomfortable, maybe they’re secretly jealous of her unquestionable talent. Let’s face it, we might have awarded the medal to a worthy, comfortable character. We didn’t, we awarded it to Zaha: larger than life, bold as brass and certainly on the case.


zaha hadid

IN FOND MEMORY Zaha Hadid is said to have challenged convention as a child, she broke boundaries and wrote her own rules. She was a force to reckon with, and at the same time was a cherished mentor, nurturing, caring and loyal. Hadid’s colleagues from over the years recount their tryst with the ‘Iron Lady of Architecture’.

Pic: Courtesy ZHA

I was in a meeting that afternoon and came out to a series of messages on my phone. As I read through them there was a sense of numbness. I couldn’t comprehend the awful implication of what I was reading. Walking back into the studio that I had now been part of for over a decade, I realised it was not some mistaken report but a tragic reality. There it was – a team of people sitting at their desks in absolute silence, trying to simulate normalcy by finishing the task at hand while quietly reconciling to the fact that we had just unexpectedly lost a formidable source of inspiration. The loss of Zaha as the foremost visionary in the world of architecture and design is a great one to the profession as a whole, but to those of us working in the studio it is also a very personal loss. It is the loss of a voice, which urged us to think big, think different and to test those thoughts relentlessly so that they could be realised into invigorating spaces and larger than life icons. I joined the office in the summer of 2005 after completing my Masters at the Architectural Association. It had been an intense process of de-schooling and re-schooling for a young Indian architect trained in a very vernacular tradition. Patrik Schumacher, her practice partner, who now stands at the helm of the studio, had

been our thesis guide and invited me to come join the team. My exposure to Zaha till then had been intermittent, pouring over library books looking for inspiration in her works, peering over the shoulders of other students in the main lecture hall at the AA, all of us standing there in awe of her booming voice, listening intently to the sharp and precise feedback to year-end presentations. Zaha had a formidable reputation but also had an incredibly sensitive side that one only got to see once you started working with her. Her’s was a voice that would sit across me at a lunch table and hand out a sharp rebuke for a debatable project decision while also noticing that my plate was empty and insist something that I like was ordered so I would eat properly. The first day I walked into the office it was with a sense of intense trepidation at whether I would be able to live up to the passion with which I had heard work was approached and delivered there. I was given the incredible opportunity of being part of the team that would go on to deliver her first built project in London – The Evelyn Grace Academy. It seemed appropriate to be working on a school, while sitting in an old school building in Bowling Green Lane, where


1992 Great Utopias, Guggenheim NYC Courtesy ZHA

our studios were housed. EGA was located in one of London’s most economically challenged boroughs and had a critical moral purpose – to give a group of children, 70% of whom were on free meals – a safe place to come to and learn. This was something significant, as Zaha firmly shared the belief that anyone could make his or her way through the world with an education. For children the school is one of their earliest experiences of architecture and therefore it was vital to give them an inspiring environment. It was a tough project to deliver as the office had just started to build and we needed to walk the extra mile to convince a very skeptical contractor that the project was not beyond the scope of delivery. Her first site visit though was a strong reminder to us of who we were representing in this process. I recall the morning of the visit when the project manager came around and asked for the site to be tidied up and he himself pitched in to move the forklifts around. On being asked by one of the workers what was happening he said, “The most influential woman in the world – after my wife of course, is coming to site.” If I have learnt anything in my years of working within the dynamic

environment of my studio - I can confidently call it my studio, as Zaha believed we were not just an office but also a family - it is to be able to have an idea and work through it. I have come to appreciate the role of the architect to question an established culture and re-imagine it. Zaha appreciated that architecture came with the strings of budget, scale and regulations but required those of us working with her to push those strings to breaking point. We may have lost her voice in our everyday life but her way of thinking is ingrained within our own internal thought processes. She leaves behind a legacy of staff within Zaha Hadid Architects who are determined to continue to push artistic and technological ideas and deliver projects to the high standard the brand has come to be associated with. It won’t always be easy but as she said to me once – Tough, Deal with it. That is exactly what we intend to do. BIDISHA SINHA Associate, Zaha Hadid Architects 2005 – Present


zaha hadid

Her life forged a path to a brave new world. In her death we must galvanise the promise. For her. For us. For the future young that will not have the beacon to aim for. Star-ship. Star-bright. RIP Zaha-Hadid As a student of architecture in India, I had not ever imagined that I would end up working for one of the most daring innovators of the discipline, of our times. A chance encounter with Patrik Schumacher, the now de facto leader of the company, arranged through friends working in the company, turned out to be career defining. Together, Zaha and Patrik gave a then young untested architect, a chance to found the Computational Design research group at the office - ZHA-CODE. A chance to be challenged, a chance to grow in an environment where anything was possible, given you worked for it, a chance to be influenced by and to influence the brightest minds who Zaha had drawn to the office with her gravity, a chance to be part of the family that Zaha had nurtured. Zaha was mercurial, thoughtful, daring, a virtuoso and sought perfection. From the beginning the work in her atelier was invigorating, intensely motivating, and intellect and soulstimulating. Patrik made it possible for me to be part of Zaha’s academic activities in Vienna, The Architectural Association, Yale and elsewhere. He also made tangible and accessible her interest in mathematics, her inquisitive study of compositional and intellectual aspects of Russian constructivists, and her foresight to work with innovative collaborators – engineers, contractors and artists. Zaha had deep respect for pioneers such as Frei Otto – arguing vehemently to award him the Pritzker for instance. We at the office subsequently were deeply influenced by his enormous contributions in harnessing nature’s logic and formative principles. Zaha wanted to be known for being a stellar architect drawing on the energy of the bright and young, from history, from nature, from science, to propel the discipline into the future. It was and continues to be hard work to hold up to her high standards. This however, is ultimately rewarding and aspirational for any young architect in the field even today. She always made time to engage with young students and aspiring architects – often clearing her business schedule to hang-out with them. She was without doubt, a beacon. Reflecting on the last decade that I have worked at the office, it has often reminded me of the Indian story of the Blind Men and the Elephant - A story of a group of blind men who touch an elephant to learn what it is like. Each one feels a different part, but only one part. Depending on which part they touch, they have a different conception of the animal – the leg feels like a pillar, the ears like a winnowing basket, the tusk like a ploughshare etc. In much a similar way, the office is multi-faceted with groups of people enabled and empowered to explore and perfect various aspects of their architectural interests – artistic, discursive, scientific, engineering, computational, constructional etc. It is enormous credit to Zaha herself that she has left us with not just a rich legacy, but also a fully operational and flourishing institution that is as much infused with her spirit, as it is, in its collection, much beyond the sum of the parts. Her life and her atelier is a crucible for our experiments. A crucible for our striving to perfection. A crucible for our ambition to innovate. A mirror to our collective will, built on the foundations laid down by a remarkable woman.

T op 1992 Great Utopias, Guggenheim NYC Courtesy ZHA

Bottom 1993 Vitra Fire Station, Weil am Rhein Courtesy ZHA

SHAJAY BHOOSHAN Associate, Zaha Hadid Architects Computation and Design Group, 2007 - Present


Zaha Hadid, the conquering star as we all know, has inspired generations of designers from across

2003 Rosenthal Center for Contempoary Art, Cincinnati Courtesy ZHA

the globe to believe in path-breaking ideologies that can challenge the rigid boundaries of architecture and design. Like every other designer’s dream to be associated with her, I too had always dreamt of working at her London studio. I consider myself privileged to be associated with Zaha Hadid Architects at an early stage of my career after pursuing masters at The Architectural Association, London. My first personal encounter with Zaha was as one of her student fans when she visited The AA to deliver a lecture in November 2012. I had seen many star-architects give a talk at The AA by that time and I have to admit that this was a special one for the school too. Students congregated around her to get photographs clicked and to receive autographs. Contrary to her image of being an austere designer, I found her giving time to every individual who flocked around her in this busy AA Lecture Hall, with a very humble and gentle smile on her face. I was lucky to get a photograph with her and little that I knew at this stage that I would land up with a job at her London studio in 2013. Patrik Schumacher, Director and Partner at Zaha Hadid Architects was the one to interview me and took no time to get me on-board in May 2013, leading to the best professional association I have had in my career so far. This was a dream job and soon after I realized the true power of Zaha Hadid and her design philosophies deeply embedded in ZHA. This design philosophy was highly contagious and every single day at ZHA was a new learning experience full of intellectually stimulating conversations with the best of designers coming from different cultures, nations and domains. I found myself lucky enough to have some of the early concepts of my work at ZHA reviewed directly by Zaha and Patrik, and I could feel the strong encouragement for bold methodologies at every stage of a project. Use of technology at every design stage had been critical to the studio right from its inception and the pace of evolution of ideas and concepts was immense. Very quickly, I had learnt to absorb new ideas and adapted quickly to a typical ZHA studio life which calls for a lot of hard work, inventive approach and a multidisciplinary exchange ability. I was deployed in multiple teams owing to my deep interest in design technology and computational design methods and worked on projects of varied scales, typologies and cultures. The massive volume of works that ZHA had carried out in the previous years, played a crucial role in re-imagining

every project we worked on, serving as precedents. My key role as an architect and computational designer in the firm helped me get involved in a number of projects, mostly in concept and schematic design stages based in UK, USA, Sweden, France, China and Kazakhstan. Use of computational design and parametric strategies was common in most of them with a conscious effort on quick design production of works that can fit well in the large volume of path-breaking work by the founder Zaha herself. It was very challenging, yet stimulating to maintain the high quality of work set as precedents at ZHA. Zaha and Patrik would not let the project move forward until it reached a standard that surpassed the high standards already set by the founder. Zaha played a crucial role in steering the design ideology of the firm even when she was busy with multiple endeavours and mostly off-studio. No project would be submitted or sent ahead without Zaha or Patrik’s approvals and there was a great energy in all teams across the two London studios – Bowling Green and Goswel Road. The high standards set by Zaha not only inspired designers around the world, but also motivated everyone associated with ZHA to work harder and smarter, leading to some of the greatest projects that the world of architecture has seen in the last two decades. This strong force provided by Zaha’s work has always been present in the studio and will continue to push the boundaries further as she leaves us with this unfortunate demise. With many more generations waiting to be inspired by her legendary work, I am quite sure that the world of architecture will not see anyone as celebrated as her, but her works have made a massive impact to yield many such heroes that will emerge in the years to come. What is left for us to do is to pick up the pieces and move on with the work as mentors stay with us forever. This is a big loss to the design fraternity and Zaha’s work will remain timeless and will inspire generations to come. We hope we are able to take it forward in our own ways and contribute a fraction of it to the world of architecture that she has conquered. SUSHANT VERMA Worked at ZHA, 2013 - 14


zaha hadid

When I got the news, it left me in deep shock. You left us unexpected and too soon! As Peter Cook said, “The great light extinguished!” Soon after graduating from the DRL Master’s course at the AA, I joined Zaha Hadid Architects. From the first day itself, there was an immense intensity of energy and talent in the office. We worked very hard, sometimes night after night, but it was a fun and inspiring environment and it makes me happy to think back to this time. In a couple of weeks we started working in a small team on the concept design for the Performing Arts Centre in Abu Dhabi. It was to be one of five major cultural institutions on the new 270-hectare cultural district of Saadiyat Island. It was a very exciting brief and we had several months to develop a unique concept at this exceptional location. In the DRL we were addressing fractal patterns and how they evolve over time. With this background interest and knowledge I started exploring a fractal branching concept which emerged and branched out naturally into the sea, like a growing organism that spreads through successive branches to form the structure. After a few weeks I had my first indirect interaction with Zaha Hadid when she chose our sketch as the concept which was to be developed further. It was truly a great feeling. Within months of working on this project, I was promoted to be the Lead Architect. We developed the concept design and began constructing the model. This was a huge challenge as the model was 3.5m long and 1.5m wide, at a scale of 1:150, complete with double curved surfaces. I proposed that we worked with a company that printed our DRL model in Germany, the only ones we found who were able to do it at that time. Having to present at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, I headed there with a colleague. We even got the model maker to meet us there for last minute touch ups, in case the model got damaged in flight. We were joined by Zaha Hadid and Patrik Schumacher, who came to present the project to the press. Our design was flanked by proposals by Jean Nouvel and Frank Gehry. This was the first time I met Zaha personally. She had invited her Vienna students to her hotel suite to give a critique after the presentation, and she invited us as well. It was very exciting to be there, getting to see the student’s projects and also getting to know her. This was my first and perhaps most memorable experience with her. Zaha, on many previous occasions we had heard your forceful phone announcements or been cautioned of your grand entrance into the office by the receptionist’s panic stricken warning. We knew you as a diva and as an uncompromising woman with a strong personality; but it is only now that we realise that you had to be tough to achieve what you did. As I look back with my own experiences, I feel that I understand you much better. Albeit a tough front, we know you were very a loyal and caring person inside. Zaha, you showed us that there is no limit in this world, and we will remember you as an immense talent. You are an inspiration to me, and always will be. You showed us what is possible and created the limitless! You are a true star! BRITTA KNOBEL GUPTA Founding Partner, Studio Symbiosis Worked at ZHA, 2006 - 2010 1998 MAXXI Museum, Rome Courtesy ZHA


2013 West 28th Street, NYC Courtesy ZHA

“There are 360 degrees so why stick to one?” – something that Zaha Hadid once said, and that defined her attitude towards design and life. As a person she was larger than life, who never believed in holding herself back, and this carefree attitude reflected very much in her designs. The first time I saw Zaha was during a lecture series at the AA. It was a debate about the next Director of AA, along with the future direction the school should take. There were a lot of eminent architects who presented their work in 50-60 slides and spoke at length. On the other hand, Zaha came in with a simple Power Point Presentation with a black background and just pointers with text on 6-7 slides. The talk was to the point and precise. She believed in making her point in a strong and concise manner, saying only what needed to be said. Having graduated from the AA and gone on to work with Zaha Hadid Architects, the intensity of the office was clear from day one. The first project we worked on was a competition, which was in its final stage. It was an intense introduction to the office, which led to an immersive experience with strict deadlines every day. Zaha had defined the design brief as ‘Layering’ and ‘stacking’. It was very impressive to see that the office did not work solely on

a top-down approach, but it was a bottom-up approach as well. We as designers had complete freedom to develop the design within the broad guidelines setup by Zaha and Patrik for the project. How we interpreted it was up to us. Zaha would come into the office and review projects in studio 1 or 9. It was impossible to miss her presence. The space resonated of her persona in each studio, even if she was not there. Zaha was very clear and direct in her design outlook - either it was good or bad, but there was never a middle ground. From the time I spent working at Zaha Hadid Architects and interacting with Zaha, the most distinct memory that resonates is her clarity of thought and desire to keep things simple. We will miss you Zaha, you left us too soon and completely unexpectedly. AMIT GUPTA Founding Partner, Studio Symbiosis Worked at ZHA, 2006 - 2010


zaha hadid

Vitra Fire Station, Weil am Rhein Pic: Christian Richters


Modernism aficionado and an ardent design traveller, architect Sourabh Gupta dwells on the bold and larger-than-life Zaha Hadid School of Thought. Lighting in the world of buildings has since long been largely preoccupied with the somewhat clinical task of providing effective and efficient illumination. Richard Kelly, the maestro of stagelighting lit up some of the world’s best known examples of the international style - the Seagram Building by Mies, which is celebrated as one of the best illuminated buildings world-wide, while the Glass House and the Kimbell Art Gallery revolutionised the idea of transparent architecture, exemplifying the ‘lightness of being’. The term ‘scenographic aesthetics’ coined by Kelly resulted in creating ‘theatrics’ in modern architecture through illumination. The great master Louis Kahn taught the world to revere that beam of light that travels all the way from the sun, a million light years away, to enter ‘our room’, wanting to belong to it and to us! Corbusier ofcourse defined architecture itself as the masterful play of magnificent forms in light. Thus, architecture has always relied on its best ever ally - light, to have a multitude of meaningful conversations with people.

With Zaha Hadid, it would be pertinent to observe that the dramatic angular silhouettes and free-flowing fluid forms of her architecture get further buoyed up, almost enlightened, when lit. The lighting design highlights in her work, the paradox between mass and void, minimising bulk and size. Until this moment, architecture for modernists like me, was what masters like Kahn built, and in this context, works of avant garde architect Zaha Hadid served as punctuations in contemporary architecture, rather than verses that defined the premise of it. And hence, at the moment of her demise, here is my attempt to condole, correct and convince myself of the contribution of one of the most emblematic architects of our time. For Kahn, architecture started from a square, and then the functional forces pushed its boundaries. He played with light cubes and his built form became timeless. Quite contrarily, for Hadid, architecture was about form and its flow with the function, where function almost played the second

fiddle, and hence, her buildings were often very sculptural. Zaha Hadid brought an argument to reality, a theory to practice; and that was her strength. The noise that her architecture made was the minimum value it had; the fluid form flew for her, the clarity of the orthogonal was rejected, lines converged to triangles and squares curved into non planar surfaces. The spatiality was unconventional, and the intent was convincing; thus, its achievement was its success. Her questions were valid and the built reality validated the answers she gave to her own architectural enquiries. To me, her biggest contribution was to push architecture and architects into the realm of discussion and debate at multiple forums; she was the disruption in the discourse of architecture and its evolution. And hence, architecture got popular. It got noticed and it became aspirational. It also came to be in line with technology and society. Hadid definitively defined a moment in world architecture. The Vitra fire station was my first dialogue


BMW Central Building, Leipzig, Germany Pic: Helene Binet

Jockey Club Innovation Tower, Hong Kong Polytechnic University Pic: Courtesy Doublespace

with one of her structures. It never worked as a fire station, but served a much larger obligation of bringing attention to the fraternity, with its play of planes and plans. Subsequently, the Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Korea, with its massive urban sculptured island that housed contemporary art and design was an amazing fit. The Phaeno Center at Wolfsburg, Germany was another interesting architectural statement of a form to a rather banal function, retail; and hence, was fun. The Maxxi Museum in Rome expressed a powerful form that spanned functions from responding to context to curating spaces inside. It was confronting, even if not convincing. Despite stating that, the Riverside Museum in Glasgow was incredibly contextual and refreshing. Her newer works like the Hong Kong Polytechnic building and Galaxy Soho skyscrapers in Beijing have already see their multiple clones dotted throughout the globe, making her buildings aspirational and inspirational. Being a collector of design products, in my journey, I have always lived with a particular light designed by Hadid for Artemide, a B&B Italian sofa, a collection of tray sculptures and Alessi spoons; and I have thoroughly enjoyed them all. Not to forget, the shoes she created for United Nude! It was interesting to visit her studio at the Vienna School of Design as everything, from place to program, from explanations to education, exuded of Hadid. Black carpets and black machines spanned the entire studio; with students eager to impress and align themselves to her style. Extreme exercises on three-dimensional visualizations and complex algorithms were being executed and all this brought together the rigour and rationale behind this huge body of work. After reminiscing about her works that I have had a chance to witness, I am reminded of my education at CEPT, Ahmedabad and subsequently Bouwkunde at Delft, the Netherlands. These institutions taught us about ‘unlearning’ and that there were no wrongs and no rules in architecture. And In my architectural search for rules, I understood the value of their non-existence. The chaos and the quest continues in my head as I conclude my homage and humbly salute to the Zaha Hadid School of Thought.



Pic: Hufton & Crow



Rising from within its natural topography, the Heydar Aliyev Centre folds and unfolds in blanched undulating surfaces, as Mrinalini Ghadiok delves into the depths of its lambent form. Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects and illuminated by Maurice Brill Lighting Design, the compelling form was recently nominated for the RIBA International Award 2016.



Pic: Hufton & Crow

As the fierce winds pound through the dense city fabric, a consuming sweep paves way for the earth to rise in an ecstatic moment of luminosity. The natural topography emerges in rapture as the Heydar Aliyev Centre, to declare its triumph as a lambent symbol of the culture, redevelopment and intellectual life of Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan. Bathed in the blush of the rising sun, the monumental structure awakens from slumber to reveal its true form. The heaving white surface glistens as the sun strikes its target, deflecting light off the double curved geometries in the most unpredictable manner.

Inside, the blanched volume is inundated with a warm glow. As the sun attains its peak, and the glazed façade opens its realm, the space brightens to a whiter white. Large transparent openings are guarded with deep overhangs as the structure bows down to the ground in some places, and rises to the sky in others. Hefty cantilevers cut the direct influx of sunlight, rendering the interior volume in soft effulgence. Maurice Brill Lighting Design (MBLD) were commissioned for the challenging task to ‘create a solution that complements the fluid nature of the architecture and echoes the architectural narrative’. Following the directive that the ‘design of the building


with its seamless curves represents the infinite architecture as the building walls dissolve in the ground’, MBLD set themselves to respond to the constantly varying three dimensional geometry and an expression of its sculptural quality. Embedding the undulating internal surfaces with linear luminaires that follow the course of the form, the intention lies in encouraging natural circulation. The 3d curved lines were developed in collaboration with Zumtobel, with a clip-in diffuser for maintenance of the fluorescent battens, as LED’s at the time were not powerful enough to provide sufficient light levels. Besides being the primary source of

ambient light, they also play the critical role of emergency illumination. Walls soaring through the lofty volumes are accentuated with a consistent wash of light from floor-recessed troughs that are located along the seams of the space. These lines of light obscure the connection between the wall and floor, perpetuating a sense of infinity and bringing the lighting to a human scale in an enormous space. “Innovative lighting details discreetly integrated within the building fabric graze the surface of the expansive lobby that connects all the main spaces, modeling the building skin and providing indirect lighting,” says MBLD.

The lighting consultants drive their scheme parallel to the architectural language throughout the building. The spectacular timber structure of the auditorium creates an intense space that commands the welldeserved dramatics in its illumination. An array of overlapping timber fins form a sheath over the imposing volume. A high-power LED lighting system that was developed in alliance with David Morgan Associates peeks from beneath the myriad layers, further enhancing the linear vocabulary. While the lengthy lines of light provide for a sufficient ambience, additional illumination is achieved with wall washers that highlight vertical surfaces, and



Pic: Hufton & Crow

Pic: Iwan Baan

“The design of the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Centre establishes a continuous fluid relationship between the external plaza and the centre’s interior, where the public are drawn into the building in a single, seamless gesture: blurring the differentiation between architecture and urban landscape, figure and ground, interior and exterior, private and public. A series of undulations, bifurcations, folds and inflections modify the artificial landscape of the plaza to create a surface that performs a multitude of functions; welcoming, embracing and directing all visitors throughout the different levels of the interior.” - Zaha Hadid Architects


Pic: Hufton & Crow

Pic: Hufton & Crow

downlights that are concealed within deep slots etched in the wooden ceiling. Thus generating a versatile lighting scheme that facilitates intimate settings as well as a brightly lit space, catering to varying desires and programs. While the sheer size and scale of the building is overwhelming to say the least, it is the attention to detail that generates a unified experience. Lighting elements are integrated into handrails and balustrades on one hand, while floor

Pic: Hufton & Crow

recessed lighting slots emphasise slab edges and add to the visual interplay of stacked levels in the building. Enclosed in large expanses of vertical glass, the bounds between the inside and outside seem to diminish as the perception of space flows as effortlessly as the sinuous structure folds around itself. Echoing the clear blue skies in its glistening panes, the reflective glazing reveals subtle hints of the fluid forms inside. With the deepening of the skies, this precept is inverted as the insides gradually

come ablaze against the darkening outdoors, and parts of the building skin peel back to divulge slivers of light from curious vertical crevices. The exquisitely sculpted shell of the building is illuminated in a delicate wash of light that rises seamlessly from the horizontal plane, the ombre deliberately leaving most of the façade to fade into the oblivion of the night. A calculated permutation of floor lighting troughs, in-ground uplights and wall washers illuminate this architectural marvel.

Pic: Hufton & Crow

“The lighting design of this building is the culmination of 6 years of study and experimentation of complex curved architecture, and the pursuit of a unified design that underscores the core architectural narrative.” – MBLD

MBLD strategically uses warmer colour temperatures to light areas that are closer to the building edge, in continuation to the tone of the internal lighting. Moving away, the colour temperature becomes cooler as the distance from the glazing increases, reinforcing the idea of a glowing lantern. The lighting scheme for the façade and landscape employs a definite hierarchy that follows the site’s contours. “The landscape is a high contrast, low light level environment with accentuated vertical surfaces and water features that visually lead to the building,” state the designers. The relatively dark space is dressed with curved LED markers within the plaza to facilitate movement and a sense of dynamism. High mounted luminaires allow

for clutter free, panoramic vistas that add to the ethereal nature of the site. “The lighting design of this building is the culmination of 6 years of study and experimentation of complex curved architecture, and the pursuit of a unified design that underscores the core architectural narrative.” MBLD achieves this and much more in a meticulous scheme that derives its essence from the architectural design language, but restrains itself within the delicate parameters of uplifting the building in all its lightness, and yet allowing the amorphous skin to erode in its softest glory, baring the slightest hints of a serene but compelling and sinuous resolve.

PROJECT DETAILS HEYDAR ALIYEV CENTRE, Baku, Azerbaijan Client: The Republic of Azerbaijan Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects Project Designers: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher, Saffet Kaya Bekiroglu Lighting Consultant: Maurice Brill Lighting Design (MBLD) Project Lighting Designers: Aniket Gore, Rob Honey will, Maurice Brill

LIGHTING SPECIFICATIONS Landscape and Facade: Bega, Lumascape, Zumtobel Interior: Erco, Selux, David Morgan Associates, Mike Stoane Lighting, Viabizzuno lighting, Lumino Lighting

Pic: Christian Richters

rock opera Zaha Hadid’s first project in mainland China is an extraordinary building lending itself to innovative lighting design by Beijing Light & View.


zaha hadid / guangzhou opera house, guangzhou, china

Pic: Christian Richters

Like pebbles in a stream smoothed by erosion, the Guangzhou Opera House’s unique twin-boulder design enhances the city by opening it to the Pearl River, unifying the adjacent cultural buildings with the towers of international finance in Guangzhou’s Zhujiang new town. The design evolved from the twin concepts of natural landscape and the fascinating interplay between architecture and nature; engaging with the principles of erosion, geology and topography. Fold lines in this landscape define territories and zones within the Opera House, cutting dramatic interior and exterior canyons for circulation, lobbies and cafes, and allowing natural light to penetrate deep into the building. Smooth transitions between disparate elements and different levels continue this landscape analogy. The Opera House design is the latest

realisation of Zaha Hadid Architects’ (ZHA) unique exploration of contextual urban relationships, combining the cultural traditions that have shaped Guangzhou’s history, with the ambition and optimism that will create its future. An example of a new type of structure called ‘spatial folded plate triangular lattice’, the complexity of the building’s shape meant significant challenges for the lighting designers at the Beijing office of Light & View Design, and in particular the Project Lighting Designer Xiaojie An, who worked very closely with Hadid on the three-year design and one-year engineering process for the project. Xiaojie An spent a long time studying Hadid’s boulder concept. The meeting room was constantly full of models by ZHA and Light & View. During that period, Xiaojie An and

his team studied the models every day and made every effort to comprehend the soul of the architecture. Eventually An decided to enhance Hadid’s complex curves and arches with an equally elaborate lighting scheme, to further extend and intensify their pleasingly gentle visual feel. In this way, the lighting concept for the twin boulders was conceived. “From the perspective of lighting, the architectural complexity of Guangzhou Opera House does not lie in its structure,” says Rongxing Yan, Beijing Light & View’s Chief Lighting Designer, “but in its space form and architectural shape which is different to our familiar conventional style. There are no straight lines at all. From the interior space to the architectural shape or even the landscaping on the plaza, almost all are interlinked by undulating curved


Pic: Christian Richters

Pic: Simon Bertrand

surfaces beyond your imagination. Its perfect architectural form made us reluctant to fix any light fittings.” Indeed it is a feature of Light & View’s style that they like to conceal fittings preferring to “see the illumination but not the light fittings”. The interior of Opera House’s main auditorium space is a champagne-coloured gold space with a gloss finish – similar in appearance to luxurious silk. This is continued into the seating which is also

copper toned. “As with all our work of the past ten years, we wanted to achieve the ultimate fluid space to deal with the complexities of the demanding acoustic engineering, and also the complicated programming requirements that allow for a variety of events and performances in the building,” commented Hadid. “Therefore, we have continued the seamless, organic architectural language in the asymmetrical auditorium space.” Lighting the auditorium created a headache

for Xiaojie An. A traditional downlight lighting solution was inadvisable in such a perfect curved shell and it was impossible to adopt indirect lighting or light slots as they had in the lobby. In the end it was decided to evenly distribute small but dense holes in the top of the curved space. Visually these holes seem like a plane rather than points, just like perforated plates. This solution not only solved the functional lighting problem, but more importantly, the dense light spots arising from the small holes emphasised the

curvature of the surface. The lighting is a constellation of very small white LED downlights, supplied by Philips Lumileds. To gain accurate illumination data, Light & Vision built computational models and carried out many laboratory and field experiments for comparison. “In consideration of the return on investment and maintenance cost in the future, we decided to set 100 lux as the illumination standard,” states Yan. “This is lower than the existing value specified

in the national standards, but we believe such luminance is sufficient to meet the functional requirements, as the auditorium is used solely for opera performance.” The low light level LED concept met with fierce resistance by the engineers but the lighting team pressed ahead, certain of its success. “In the end we did have to compromise by increasing the use of halogen spotlights on stage and the amount of downlights underneath the balcony to ensure the

standards were satisfied,” concedes Yan. “These newly-introduced light fittings have a certain influence on the overall perfect effect, but they are acceptable as they are only switched on in special cases and are off under most circumstances.” The lobby is a very complicated space and, as such, was also very difficult to light. It is around 130m long, 28.5m high, 15m wide in the widest area and only 8m wide in the narrowest. Two layers of the lobby are suspended from the internal walls, the


zaha hadid / guangzhou opera house, guangzhou, china

Pic: Christian Richters

curves of which constitute important visual elements indoors. The internal and external walls tilt backwards (towards the centre of the building) on the top, and intersect into a curve, forming into a curved wedgeshaped space. “We realised that any visible light fittings might damage the aesthetic feeling of this space,” says Yan. “So we decided to adopt indirect lighting exclusively for the lobby. We used indirect lighting systems as the major lighting solution for the lobby in three ways: to mount floodlights in the wedge-shaped space on the top intersection of the internal and external walls to illuminate the top of external walls; to fix indirect lighting slots along the curve at the bottom of the two-layer vestibules; and to adopt the exterior lighting of the triangular curtain wall steel structure.” The floodlighting at the top of the space illuminates the solid curved surface. Light & View carefully analysed the mounting position of the light fittings and kept them hidden from view, while ensuring uniform illumination over the upper surface. The lighting channels in the lobby’s walls and stair railings are crucial to the space.

Pic: Christian Richters

The slots stretch and harmonise with the profile of the architecture, giving the space a magical atmosphere. These smooth curved light bands can be seen as a continuation of the water ripples outdoors, echoing pleasantly with the light bands around the outdoor platform and grass slope. Externally, Xiaojie An created ‘water ripples’ of light around the platform edge and the grass slopes. Shimmering and uniform floodlighting was applied to the main two boulders from the base as if the lighting is reflected through the water. Seen through the shaped glass curtain wall, the interior solid arch and the triangular steel beam were both illuminated to give the glass curtain wall a shimmering translucence giving the impression of being under water. It was very difficult to find a suitable position for floodlights due to the complicated architectural form. The colour of the two boulders are different subtle shades of grey so the illumination intensity had to be strictly controlled in order for the appearance not to be black and white when illuminated at night. This made the positioning of floodlights difficult in

order to accurately control the luminance. After lots of analysis, calculation, experimentation and communication with the architects, the issue was overcome by using the floodlights in the space between the platform edge and the building as well as the concealed locations of the pool edge. Yan explains further: “In the adjacent position between the boulders, we cast light from the larger boulder over the smaller one to increase the luminance and contribute to a strong visual effect between the two. Light fittings were cleverly installed in the cavity between the outer stone and the inner structure. Such light fittings cast light outwards through the reserved gap, and thus resolved the conflict between concealed light fittings and the lighting effect.” The effect of the ‘water ripples’ spreading around the platform and the grass slope edge was achieved by using indirect lighting bands. The platform sides and the grass slope contours were filled with concrete without any secondary decorative surface. The focus on uniform consideration and mutual integration of interior and exterior lighting is also a hallmark of Light & View.


Pic: Christian Richters

Their uniform consideration is embodied in two aspects: one is to consider interior lighting as an integral part of the exterior lighting scheme; the other is to apply the same lighting systems concurrently to both the interior and exterior lighting. The triangular steel beam of the glass curtain wall is a typical example. The beam is distributed in a triangular mesh and is totally exposed via the glass curtain wall of the main building, increasing some masculinity to the gentle architecture. Yan explains: “We hoped to illuminate the lateral face of the steel beam by lighting every triangular interior casing. Such illumination became an important supplement to the interior lighting and, in particular, was an integral part of the indirect lighting of the lobby. “At an early stage, we conceived two solutions: to cast light over the opposite sides from the interior angle of the triangle; or to cast light over the opposite sides from one side. In order to validate the actual effect, we made an experimental model at a ratio of 1:1 and conducted an experiment on the two solutions respectively. After

Pic: Christian Richters

having comprehensively evaluated the factors such as effect, glare control and concealment of light fittings, we eventually decided to increase a light slot made of steel outside the steel beam and inside the glass, and install light fittings of the same length inside the light slot to cast light towards the two steel beams on the opposite side. The curtain wall steel structure is a triangular shape, but the entire structure was extremely complicated. The triangles were not on the same plane or in parallel, the lateral face of the steel beams and the external surface (where light fittings were installed) showed a different angle with the triangle plane. This caused many problems with our analysis of the projection angle, concealment and glare control of light fittings. “Hence, it was difficult to determine the reasonable shape and size of light slots as well. Through our analysis based on many electronic models and physical models, we summarised the five kinds of installation positions and the projection angle of the light fittings, and identified the shape and size of light slots on this basis. In order to ensure the light

fittings could be adjusted easily to the desired position and direction inside the light slots, we designed a special mounting bracket which can be adjusted freely to all directions.” “The time and effort spent on this project is incomparable to any other we have worked on,” states Yan. “The highs and lows have been immense but it was all worth it in the end. Every area is fantastic!”

PROJECT DETAILS Guangzhou Opera House, Guangzhou, China Client: Guangzhou Municipal Government Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects Local Architect: Guangzhou Pearl River Foreign Investment Archi tectural Designing Institute Lighting Design: Light & View Design

LIGHTING SPECIFIED Auditorium lighting: Philips Lumileds custom made LED downlights; halogen downlights and spotlights


Architectural forms have evolved over time from organic masses to geometric compositions, from primordial arrangements to sinuous sculptures. The latter genre of artistically rendered forms that slowly emerge from the navel of the earth and soar into the sky, sometimes twisting, sometimes turning, often wrapping themselves around

voids and structures, or even contorting their own structure into curvaceous strokes across expanses of space, are loosely cast as ‘fluid architecture’. Some may define the style as oceanic waves, while others characterize it as an undulating journey through the wind. What is distilled as a commonality is the idea of ‘fluidity’ or


‘flow’. Facilitating a continuum, of shape, plane, space, volume and experience, the built form distances itself from corners and crevices, albeit often maintaining an affinity to the ‘edge’. The edge begins to define the curve, preserve the swirl and perpetuate the contour that effortlessly presents itself in a stagnant motion. The sensuality of the form

blossoms in a crisp outline that tempts one to almost quest the dichotomy of a ‘fluid edge’. The style is revolutionary on one hand, beating convention and challenging established norms; on the other, it is primordial, referencing the vital elements of nature and being compelled to go back to the ‘roots’. Sitting at this edge, at the edge of

fluidity, this architectural mannerism seems to have set on a path to exploring, discovering and evolving itself, within itself and around itself. mondo*arc india showcases a selection of architectural designs in the country, some built to fruition, others thriving in aspiration of transforming exhilarating ideas into poignant moments of construct.


project / at the edge of fluidity / Pool House, New Delhi

REFLECTIVE MUSINGS A statement in time! This bold new addition to the existing home by 42mm Architects is profound and prudent in its execution, and effortlessly alive. Astha Saini reflects upon this 'pebble in the grass', and what makes it so striking and precise.

Pics: Ravi Kanade


Drawing: 42mm Architecture

Very adequately termed by the architect as ‘a pebble in the grass’, the Pool House is an outstanding piece of structural vocabulary that stands apart by simply being what it should be - a block of concrete, emerging as a stand-alone building, sitting atop a pound of landscape that cohesively balances it, whilst letting it scream for undivided attention. “Imagine a lone pebble in the grass. It looks distinct and beautiful, and yet blends in.” The project evolved because of the client’s need for extra entertainment space that consisted of lounge areas, a swimming pool, gym and accompanying utility spaces. However, what drove this project and its design was the already existing 20-year-old postmodern concrete home of which the Pool House would then become the new addition. The underlying foreplay to express this shift in time was achieved by using the same material palette in context of this new contemporary architecture with that of the old.


project / at the edge of fluidity / Pool House, New Delhi

The solid and bold concrete reinforces the design by showing off stark differences, yet masking them at the same time with gentle fluidity and flow in architectural element, that lays emphasis on its natural surroundings. The definitive robust shell softened at the edges mirrors the natural curves in the landscape that makes the structure distinct, yet blends it beautifully into a unified subject. Glass partitions on either side of the elevation help it achieve visual balance by maintaining just enough transparency that attracts the outside in. While it also diminishes boundaries and merges the volume between the interior and exterior, it effortlessly bridges the transformation between the two spaces by ceaselessly blending it all as one. This gives an appearance of lightness to the otherwise heavy concrete structure, by bringing in daylight as it plays through the sun. Natural light floods the interior with uniform and balanced manner, adding to the overall ambience of the space, giving it a sense of perfect presence. The design matrix that flows outside and around the structure also follows it inside to maintain its periodic singularity and vividness. The use of wood at the pool deck is gracefully brought into the lounge area and the central core of the building. Wood and concrete express an emotion of time and space throughout the interior.


The wooden paneling that forms a floating media unit conceals all the devices on one side, while on the other it defines the seating space. As night falls, the vastness that is defined by the glass partition and beyond is carefully controlled with the use of artificial lighting that focuses on the architectural form in a very subtle manner, by tying it together and creating an intimate cozy feeling inside the space. The visual hierarchy that follows in the design is established in a clean and clear precision with lighting that simply belongs where it must. The linear cove lighting that sits in the curved wooden panels accentuates the softness in design. It brings warmth to the concrete and at the same time it becomes poetry in the reflection of the pool water.

Lighting thus creates a linear relationship with the structure that is desiring and luminous and not just merely there. It evokes keenness of sorts, a pause and a union that is definitive and lasting. The unpolished concrete that makes the shell and the roof is left untouched to finish its story. The floor is polished raw concrete; it has no plaster, paint or waterproofing. This nakedness in the interior makes it astounding and breathable. The carefully chosen pieces of furniture and decorative focal light enhance this simplicity by becoming perfect props in the show of dark and light. While the minimal use of surface mounted downlights helps in overall ambient illumination of the space at dusk, the ceiling cutout and the glass

panels flourish at dawn, leaving nothing to imagination. The basics of design in the space establish a harmony that is full of edge; and it synchronizes it with a careful and precise play of daylight versus artificial light. The adjacent rectangular building that houses the gymnasium, sits by the pool in sheer style to support the overall concept of playfulness for the client and its guests. The surrounding geometry of the cantilever structure, the pool and the lush green landscape together create a drama that makes the Pool House what it is today. The straightforwardness and the comprehensibility of its design to coexist will make it what we leave to time.

PROJECT DETAILS Pool House, New Delhi Architect: 42mm Architecture Project Team: Rudraksh Charan, Adreesh Chakraborty, Priyanka Khanna

LIGHTING SPECIFIED Oscar Lucia: DOURO 7W LED light Oscar Lucia: Loire, Surface mounted LED Oscar Lucia: TAGUS 1W LED 3000k Oscar Lucia: Spike 3W LED Oscar Lucia: Flood light 50W


project / at the edge of fluidity / Paarijat Residence, Ahmedabad

Pics: Anil Patel

AN EXPLORATION OF FORM Using repetition of forms and elements like a leitmotif, Apical Reform have designed a duplex penthouse in Ahmedabad with the theme of fluidity and lighting playing key roles in the contemporary aesthetic. Devyani Jayakar examines the sophisticated nature of the design. Why is any work of architecture or design called ‘mature’? Evidently because ‘immature’ work exists? Does that mean a partiality towards form over function? Many may correlate that intangible element of maturity, with the age of the architect or designer. Architects and

designers may be like wine, which gets perceptibly better with age. When Apical Reform, a team of young architects and designers, led by Amrish Patel and Darshan Soni, undertook the design of this duplex penthouse in Ahmedabad, it was to be expected that their work would

be subjected to scrutiny – the lens through which it was viewed, the expected one which gauges ‘maturity’. So it is pleasantly surprising to find no blatant giveaways of the relatively short careers of the team. The entrance lobby of the apartment is not only a dramatic taste of the aesthetic


within, but indicates that the design team has extended themselves beyond the walls of the penthouse. This lobby would be completely at home on the sets of a sci-fi film or as the stomping ground of a discotheque. The elegant geometry has been derived to accommodate 3mm thin tiles articulating the floor and carries up to the walls and ceiling. Connected to each other, the lines glow with strips of motioncontrolled ambient lighting. The door itself merges silently into the geometry. First time visitors are pardoned for not knowing which way to turn when they get out of the lift. “The door to the penthouse is almost unnoticeable. After a good deal of brainstorming, we arrived at a solution for the strips of light which continue even over its surface, by running the low voltage electricity through the pivot,” discloses Soni. The effect is quite slick and the door opening with the lines of light running across its surface looks arresting, rather like inhabiting a video game. The family is probably used to visitors gaping at it. After all, the client did specify that he wanted a ‘futuristic’ space, with an emphasis on lighting. Within, most of the lighting is indirect and diffused, with no fittings visible. Alcoves function as light wells and there are enclosures for LEDs. “We have experimented with layering, sliced forms and then put them together again” says Soni. The experiments have extended to the jalis, which are parametric patterns generated through software, where the same geometrical form gets varied. “The patterns thus obtained were then cut into MDF boards by CNC routing,” adds Patel. Lighting has been used as a tool to enhance the fluidity of the design. The inverted topographical forms or concentric coves on the ceiling in the living room have an MDF structure, (alternated with clear rings of acrylic for the lights above the staircase), the entire bowl then being backlit. “The importance of light in design is made evident with the detail and exploration in the way the source is both revealed and concealed. Light seems to be ‘served’ in inverted bowls or oozes out of narrow slits through the walls and ceiling. Multiple configurations of LED and low-energy fluorescent lamps create a suitable ambience for any occasion,” says Soni.


project / at the edge of fluidity / Paarijat Residence, Ahmedabad

But all these exercises are not merely an aesthetic statement, or used to conceal wiring or air-conditioning ducts, as is customary. “There were three beams running across the ceiling in the living room, visually breaking the expanse. We wanted to maintain the height, so a flat false ceiling was rejected. These inverted bowls maintain the height as well as conceal the beam, performing a dual function,” says Patel. The controls for the lights on the ceiling have been divided into three sections and are dimmable. The concentric forms find a place on the side of the kitchen counter as well. The largely grey colour palette of the

room uniformly diffuses the light, without any focus points. The expanse of grey is also a neutral backdrop for the pop of colour provided by the cushions. A 110 kg metal artwork of Swaminarayan (the family follows his preaching), shows a transformation of the image when viewed from different angles, as it works on the light and shadows cast on it. The stairwell is inundated with light from four fixtures which replicate the effect of a skylight, but are actually a recurrence of the ceiling in the living room. “Although the staircase has a profile which emphasises its repetitive linear elements, the light passing through its treads casts an arced

pattern on the ceiling. Braced between two walls, the staircase has no support at the base. Transforming the space, it is a visual and sculptural delight which can lend itself to the setting of an ideal family portrait,” says Maharshi Bhattacharya from the design team. “Even though it was tackled last, no one wanted to design a simple staircase,” he laughs. Many of the artworks take their cue from the concept of repeated lines, using the same vocabulary. The shutter of the puja niche near the staircase has an abstraction of Ganesha on its surface, the light of a flickering lamp within showing through the perforations in a dance of light and shadow. The master bedroom has an MDF ceiling,


inspired by ripples on water. Using a 3D form and the ubiquitous layering which is the hallmark of this home, the in-built lighting is dimmable and has mood control. The artwork on the wall is derived from pixelated images of flowers. “It tracks the journey of the pixel,” says Soni. “The terrace was originally a very busy space, with different levels and water bodies. This may look good on paper, but is very high maintenance in reality,” says Patel. After making the required civil changes to create a space appropriate for the lifestyle of the clients, linear rhythmic lighting has been provided, which visually encloses the area. Coves and layers of light are de rigueur. All lighting is indirect, except at the food counters. “A collage of differently oriented mirrors is mounted on one wall, capturing images of activity on the terrace, in addition to reflecting the sky. It provides a dynamic, changing artwork; it is never constant,” says Soni. “The grey and white surfaces which we have used with discrete, novel forms and meticulous craftsmanship unify the house, creating a harmonious whole. Be it climbing the dramatic staircase or dining at the breakfast table, the attempted blending of artistry into every space elevates its humble function to an event,” says Patel. “Material exploration has allowed the play of forms, texture and pattern to be experienced at varied scales. Metal and wood serve as structure for the forms that follow a linear language. Sheets of ultra-thin ceramic and metal create patterned screens that reveal subtle imagery when they are back-lit, but blend and disappear into the textured stone and

plastered surfaces around them with deceptive ease at the flick of a switch,” adds Soni. Almost with the mathematical precision of an algorithm, Apical Reform have explored the manifestations and variations of their experiment in concentric forms, lines, patterns and their interaction with light. The aesthetic expression inevitably harks back to the function which it is linked to. Did anyone say young designers emphasise form to the exclusion of function?

PROJECT DETAILS Paarijat Residence, Ahmedabad Architects: Apical Reform (Amrish Patel, Darshan Soni) Design Team: Amrish Patel, Darshan Soni, Maharshi Bhattacharya, Aditya Bhatt, Manoj Gundaniya

LIGHTING SPECIFIED Corvi: CORVI LED tube 10 Watts 1200 Lumens - White Osram: VALUE Flex Eco LED stripes, Luminous flux: up to 340 lm/m_ Module efficacy: up to 80 lm/W Samsung: Led Stripes, 4000 k

Pics: Edmund Sumner


FORM AS FUNCTION Using design for the branding of a fashion store in Mumbai, the solution by Sameep Padora of sP+a includes creating a sculpturesque ‘building within a building’, suffusing the space with light, as well as making access to different areas within the store more fluid. Devyani Jayakar examines the enmeshed form and function within the space. To create an 'identity' is an important consideration for retail ventures. Towards this end, the design for Creo, a multi-brand fashion store, envisages form and function as an inextricable whole. “We have integrated the function into the form itself,” says Padora of Sameep Padora and Associates. While most designs may aspire to this, one has to understand that the form in this instance is rather special. Flamboyant, inyour-face, it has an inescapable presence. In cases like this, it is unusual to find that the form does very much more than simply make a statement. Offering eye candy, the

exercise is hardly ever 'useful.' Padora’s statement-making design stands as the exception to the rule. As the site for this store was housed within an old structure, Padora decided to simply gut the space. Once reduced to its bare bones, all the possibilities were revealed. He says, “Situated in a beautiful space within a Victorian Gothic building, the first process for us was one of excavation and conservation, uncovering the original construct of the Malad stone arched facade and wooden joist ceiling that lay beneath layers of commercial signage and storage.”

“We looked at creating intimate bays for the customer to browse through.” Creating a building within the building, a monolithic Y-shaped installation runs down the length of the volume, creating two aisles. Looming large, its scale dwarfs all else. “A four meter tall sculptural form, the container stands out, as does what is contained within it,” says Padora. Resembling tree trunks branching outwards at the top, back-to-back pods or even a row of goblets, the analogies are many. Like a Rorschach ink blot, the viewer may see in the form what his fanciful perception prescribes.


project / at the edge of fluidity / Creo Store, Mumbai

Padora points out that creating this installation required harnessing the skills of a special taskforce. “We got shipbuilders to mould the metal skeleton in the streamlined form which the design demanded”. A resin cast was then used to clad the structure, providing a smooth finish. Since the weight of the structure had to be minimized, using concrete was not an option. The large white forms hold rods within them for hanging garments. Billowing outwards at the top in a large curving sweep which reaches out towards the walls on the sides, they also enfold concealed sources of light within a row of cave-like alcoves. Bathing the racks in a luminous glow, this arrangement shows the garments at their best. Beacon-like, the display

attracts attention with the higher intensity of illumination generated around it. Much of the lighting in the store is directed downwards, casting pools of shadows on the floor. “Each lighting idea works at two levels – to directly light the product and also to emanate an ambient glow for the space itself,” says Padora. All the lighting is calibrated, hence appropriate for correct colour rendering which is important in a space where ‘what you see is what you get.’ A semicircular seat wraps around one base of the installation, much like one would find a bench casually circumventing the trunk of a tree in a park. Form and function are once again inseparably intertwined in this design. The two aisles that flank the installation in the centre,

result in walkways for customers to browse through the display. More display opportunity is created by the shelving alongside the walls. The mezzanine, a more intimate space, cantilevers outwards from the front of the store, inviting more light into the space. As a consequence, the lower floor appears to be set back. On the mezzanine, a mirror image of the installation below holds centre-stage, creating a feeling of being ‘within’ the goblet shape, rather than outside it. The dark ceiling ensures that the eye is not drawn away from the curved white form of the installation, used for displaying garments as it is on the floor below. A few pendant lights and some spotlights assist in providing ambient illumination.


Fluidity in this design is not just a superficial aesthetic treatment. “It exists in the way everything is integrated, to work as one seamless whole,” says Padora. “There is also a minimalism at work here – one of performance, more than just form, which one normally associates minimalism with.” The installation creates a strong identity, dominating the space with its presence, but also participates in the dual language of reconciling the seemingly opposed forces of form and function. The coming together of various elements ensures a memorable space, imprinting itself in the memory of all who enter the portals of the store.



















PROJECT DETAILS Creo Store, Mumbai Client: Amit Javeri, Creo Architects: sP+a Sameep Padora and Associates Project Team: Sameep Padora, Gurmeet Akali, Vinay Mathias


De Majo: San Siro, 12V/65W Halogen QR111 Lighting Supplier: LightAlive, Mumbai GROUND FLOOR


project / at the edge of fluidity / Volvo Eicher Corporate Showcase, Gurgaon

A DUAL ACT Studio Lotus creates a showcase for Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) Limited, wherein it wraps its double-stranded, undulating design scheme around a fascinating assemblage of exhibits.


Pics: Asif Khan

When the internationally reputed Volvo Group and Indian conglomerate Eicher Motors Limited joined hands to form the much-anticipated venture, Volvo Eicher Commercial Vehicles (VECV) Limited, it posed an opportunity to celebrate the coming together of not only two renowned organisations, but also expertise and experience. The Volvo Eicher Corporate Showcase was created to represent the company’s vision of driving modernization in commercial transportation along with their top-of-the line production and distribution processes. Studio Lotus was engaged to create an invigorating and interactive showcase, which would instill a sense of pride in the company’s stakeholders through portraying relatable human stories. Being a leading enterprise in the transportation sector, the design of the VECV showcase was derived from the idea of ‘movement’. Studio Lotus manifested the scheme through “ribbons representing the two parent companies, moving through the space.” The VECV Corporate Showcase is located within the company headquarters in Gurgaon, a modern six storey building that is an example of state-of-the-art construction and is LEED rated. Housed at the entrance level on the ground floor,

the exhibition forms the centerpiece of the building. The design germinates from within the grand helical staircase in the atrium, which encloses two intertwined ribbons. 1500 metal rods strung together form a double helix, referencing the organic structure of DNA and stands symbolic of the amalgamation of two distinct strands into one. A circular track mounted on the ceiling above the helix is fitted with downlights that gently skim the surface of the structure beneath. The soft illumination highlights the fluidity of the form that is made up of multifarious elements. Thus the red and blue ribbons representing the Volvo Group and Eicher Motors Limited swirl down the staircase shaft in a unified structure, while the peripheral walls carry stories of their individual legacies. As the helix reaches the reception lobby at the bottom of the atrium, the metal rods melt into solid bands of white cast acrylic that weave their way into the exhibition space. The sinuous ribbons pass through the entryway onto bifurcated paths heading towards either side of the large hall. Encasing the space in their sinewy arms, they take role of the skin of the exhibition, providing myriad opportunities for display. The exhibition begins with a brief history

of the two companies, the vision of VECV, manufacturing processes, product range, services, customer testimonials and ends with the future statement of the company. The information is presented through graphic and text material that is pasted across the twisting and turning ribbons. Flattening in parts, the waving planes accommodate sophisticated touch screen interactive tables. A multitude of touch sensitive television screens accompany the display to illustrate additional information and testimonials. “The narrative of the exhibition is manifested seamlessly on the skin through type, interactive devices and films. To generate content for the various digital devices an extensive exercise of interviewing the clients, starting from the top management to the person working on the factory floor was conducted. This information was then collated and structured.” The vast range of information displayed in the showcase through various media actively occupies visual capacity. Thus, it was imperative for the design to establish a distinct hierarchy of vision, drawing the eye to critical elements. This was achieved through a precisely considered lighting scheme. The ribboned panels commanding


project / at the edge of fluidity / Volvo Eicher Corporate Showcase, Gurgaon

the visitor’s attention are rendered with the brightest illumination to encourage ease of interaction. Track mounted Erco Logotec floodlights with oval beam light distribution are used for meticulously controlled narrow widths of light on the white bands, cutting significant spill outside the canvas. The dimmable oval beam facilitates long and uniform strips of illumination, enabling the designers to use fewer fixtures and keep the ceiling free of clutter. “For the ribbon, the emphasis was on form and not on spilled light. The lighting plan for it also considered the need to read the sweep of visual data easily. Hence, instead of spotlights, a linear lens was selected to create oblong washes of uniform light that assimilate both the flow of form and information.”

Encircled by the curvaceous ribbons lies an impressive moving installation of a cut section of a truck. Resolutely suspended from the ceiling, the beguiling entrails of the vehicle form another focal point of the exhibition. The elongated installation is also illuminated with Erco Logotec floodlights with narrow beam light distribution. The dimmable fixtures with tight beam angles are aimed at the machinery from different sides to accentuate its intricate details in precision. The Spherolit lens that forms an oval flood (63°x 16°) facilitates an accurate beam of light, restraining it from escaping too far. This allows for the passages to remain darker and stand in greater contrast, letting the focus rest on displays flanking either side. Long linear LED screens with rolling

information are suspended close to the ceiling along both the longer ends of the display space. Emanating a blue glow, the coloured light washes the ribbed ceiling in a gentle hue, while sparsely placed downlights cast pools of gentle illumination on the floor for a brightened ambience. Adopting a lighting scheme with carefully considered parameters of optical glare cut off, precise beam angles and visually unobtrusive fixtures allow the showcase to be viewed with ease and comfort. “Integral to the design, the lighting augments and discerns the dynamism of the fluid installation. Meanwhile, the billowing white ribbons sit lightly in the space creating an experience, which is open and enclosed at the same time.”


PROJECT DETAILS VOLVO EICHER CORPORATE SHOWCASE, Gurgaon Client: Volvo Eicher Architect: Studio Lotus Project Team: Ambrish Arora, Ankur Choksi, Arun Kullu, Pankhuri Goel, Sanjay Kumar, Xabrina Martinez, Tenzin Yeshi, Ananya Berry

LIGHTING SPECIFIED ERCO: Logotec Floodlight, LED 12W 960lm, dimmable Lighting Supplier: vis a vis India Pvt. Ltd.

Pics: Bharat Agarwal


A SPACE-AGE AESTHETIC An office for a real estate agent in Delhi has a monochromatic white palette, as it explores all the ways in which its concept of fluidity can be translated in the design. Devyani Jayakar explores the complex interpretation of the concept by Spaces Architects@ka In how many ways can fluidity be expressed in the design of any interior space? Evidently, too many to enumerate off hand. Using a white palette in this long ribbon of an office, Kapil Aggarwal of Spaces Architects@ka has indulged in an exercise which is almost academic in its completeness, creating a complex display of all the surfaces which can be subjected to curved lines. Right angles, the mainstay of most designs, are conspicuous by their near absence. Soft flowing forms emerge from the floor, travel up the walls and even cover the ceiling. Alternatively, the bold lines of a ceiling may descend down a wall, turning more delicate as they create shelving. To label this space contemporary would be an understatement. It is space-age and futuristic in its aesthetic, appearing to be right out of some science fiction fantasy. The abstract, flowing forms are everywhere. The site area was 1,200 sq. ft., 14 ft. wide and 80 ft. long. The sources of natural light

were few…one at the entrance, with just one more window inside. The client brief specified two cabins for Managing Directors with a conference room for eight people, a reception, and a space for visitors to be seated. Providing all this without the design looking like it was trying to impersonate train compartments, was clearly a challenge. Eschewing all such mundane notions, the corridor created by Spaces Architects is an undulating, sinuous one, with various cabins and rooms accommodated within its curves. This creates interesting spaces, as well as a feeling of transition. Unbelievably, a clear line of vision has been maintained from the front of the office, right up to the end. How? Aggarwal explains that the cabins positioned around the corridor have strategically located clear panels in their walls, so that the line of vision is not obstructed - a complex exercise, since there are many layers to be traversed in the

80 ft. length of the office. “An important part of the intent was to enlarge the space through light, making it look voluminous. Light has been used to create focal points on the walls and ceilings, adding perspective to the space. This has been achieved via numerous backlit glass or acrylic abstractions and down lights of varying colour temperatures,” says Aggarwal. Although the space is awash with light, ably diffused by all the white surfaces, none of the light fittings are visible. They are incorporated within design elements in the ceiling and occasionally in the wall panels and coves. In spite of the lack of natural light, the space is uniformly lit. While the coves emit a warm light, the rest simulate natural daylight. Playing a stellar role in accentuating and revealing various parts of the design, the lighting creates a visual drama with its omnipresence. This is not lighting which can be ignored, or which takes a back seat to


project / at the edge of fluidity / Cubix Office, New Delhi

other elements – it is certainly one of the leading stars of the design. “We didn’t just go out, buy lights from the market and then position them in various places.” “Different functions have been modulated by creating a gradient of light intensities. The light acts as a navigator for the visitor, as well as superficially curtains the private and semiprivate areas. Accent lighting highlights some corners and niches on the walls in the lobby,” he adds. The design intent of fluidity is declared at the reception itself, with the lines of the table following the concept of the space. An abstract backlit panel is in harmony with a

curved wall behind. Further into the office, the bowed panel appears to peel off the wall, extends towards a workstation and is supported by a slim tapering column. A single sofa in a cheery yellow is the only pop of colour in the space. The ceiling has abstract forms, the one above the reception having multiple battens with semi elliptical backlit panels. As a cove grazes one side of the office with light, the kitchen escapes plain sight, hiding behind the reception. In a stroke of creativity, the conference room is placed at the centre of the space and has an elliptical form, with the corridor snaking past it. With multiple layered

panels and glass slits, it acts as a transition, dividing the office into public and semiprivate spaces. As in other spaces, the free-flowing form extends to the ceiling. The elliptical conference table has been designed by combining multiple curved panels fixed together with a glass top, reflecting the ceiling profile – an abstraction of curves adorned with light. The floor has backlit glass, creating a floating effect and adding to the aforementioned space-age ambience. Most of the furniture in the office has been customised, to conform to the rigor of the concept of fluidity. The corridor leading to the rear is like a


gallery space, adorned with multiple images of various construction projects, while the curving form of the ceiling with a backlit panel is echoed on the floor. “A part of the reason for the different levels in the ceiling as you see it now, was that there were beams and slabs at different heights, which we had to contend with,” Aggarwal explains. So it wasn’t just aesthetic calisthenics, we find out. “We had to make many site visits and there was a significant amount of redesigning and refining,” he adds. “Many of the details had to be reworked, including changing the angle of some elements, to make the space work better. We are used to working in AutoCAD, but here we had to create many sketches on the site itself,” he laughs. “I have always admired Zaha Hadid, so I guess this office was inspired by some of her work. I even sent this design to her office, so that she would realise she has a fan in India,” he discloses. The profusion of lines in the office make for a dynamic space with an energy of its own, belied by the calm white of the colour palette. Aggarwal laughs when I point out the irony of a space named “Cubix,” though populated by a slew of sinuous curves, all sliding and skidding to fulfil the declared manifesto.

PROJECT DETAILS Cubix Office, New Delhi Client: Cubix Homes Architect: Kapil Aggarwal Project Team: Kapil Aggarwal, Pawan Sharma, Arvind Pal

LIGHTING SPECIFIED Legero: Downlights, 6 W Philips: Downlights, 15 W Philips: LED fittings Bespoke lighting fixtures, designed by Spacesarchitects@ka Plan

Reflected Ceiling Plan


project / at the edge of fluidity / Aura Spa and Carbon BAR, Hyderabad

Pics: Bharath Ramamrutham

A DICHOTOMY OF BRILLIANCE Khosla Associates respond to a singular brief for two distinct spaces in a distinguished finesse of architectural style. Deriving inspiration from opposing ideas of the same genesis, the outcome is an ethereal spa and an enthralling bar at The Park, Hyderabad. Neighbouring imposing diamond mines famous for birthing some of the most distinguished gems the world has seen, and nestled within commanding histories of opulent dynasties that once held the largest and richest collection of jewels in the country, reference to the grandeur of the Nizam’s culture was hard to escape. The Park Hotel in Hyderabad sought several designers from across the world to derive inspiration from the famed jewels to create diverse experiences in its varied spaces. The property was to be developed as a contemporary palace, but was held stealthily in a web of regal nostalgia. Khosla Associates were brought on board to design two spaces within the hotel, the brief for both maintaining its genesis

in the priceless collection of gems; while the design approach differed as much as white differs from black, light differs from darkness, and edge differs from curve. The Aura Spa, located in the uninspiring basement, devoid of natural light and ventilation, was transformed into a pristine haven, dipped in the sheen, transparency and white brilliance of the Golconda diamond. Rendered in the fluid movement of space, form and ambience, the spa becomes a retreat for relaxation and ease. On the other hand, the Carbon Bar, named for its dark mysticism that derives its creation from the black diamond, is designed in a precise geometric assemblage of exacting planes, mimicking the sharp facets of the crystal, gleaming

in its dynamic unpredictability of cuts and folds. The result is a dramatic experience of metallic obscurity glimmering in a fractal cave. AURA SPA Establishing a sense of calm respite, the Aura Spa generously welcomes its visitors into an immaculately blanched interior. The curvaceous corridor is flanked on one side by a glowing wall made of vertically stacked glass with polished edges. LED sources fitted within the translucent wall, emanate a gentle luminosity that renders the space in a feeling of lightness. Leading in towards a circular reception area, one is greeted at a fluid reception counter, and offered repose in the restful


seating sheathed in moulded white resin. A wooden staircase from the pool deck above descends into the womb-like reception space that takes centre stage of the spa. Located towards the north are spacious male and female wet areas with locker facilities, changing rooms, a jacuzzi as well as laconium. The south end houses a gymnasium and salon. Heading west from the reception, one encounters a capacious transition zone, peppered with carefully selected pieces of mirrored organic sculptures by French artist Yahel Chirinian. Strategically placed ceiling-mounted spotlights direct soft beams of light onto the artworks, which splinter into myriad reflections deflecting onto surrounding

surfaces and creating an ethereal ambience. The enigma of this transition area leads towards a sensuously curved relaxation zone on one side and is lined with wellappointed therapy rooms and suites on the other. The circular relaxation space is home to an array of comfortable loungers that are segregated from each other using sheer white curtains. LED fixtures recessed in the ceiling bathe the transparent fabric in a preprogrammed wash of colour-changing light. Often used for chromotherapy, the intense VIBGYOR of the gentle illumination is ideal for therapeutic procedures. The treatment rooms are rendered in the luxurious palette of muted metallics. While embossed silver foil clads the entrance wall and doors, the curved internal partitions

are padded in a diamond shaped pearl white fabric. The futuristic rooms are contrasted with period chairs lending a hint of nostalgia to the space. A similar language continues to other areas such as bathrooms, wherein the circular capsules are sheathed with delicate pearl white glass mosaic tiles. The monochromatic scheme plays on a multitude of white tones to project an ambience that is light, bright and feels open. Ceiling coves that run along the periphery of spaces shower the volume in a uniform radiance, while a splattering of downlights that highlight focal points create a hierarchy in visual perception. The effortless movement between spaces that is facilitated by curved surfaces soothes the mind as calmness takes over the senses.


project / at the edge of fluidity / Aura Spa and Carbon BAR, Hyderabad

CARBON BAR Standing in direct corollary to the Aura Spa, which finds its reference in the white Golconda diamond, the Carbon Bar vociferously reflects on the geometry, sparkle and enigma of the illustrious Black diamond. The over scaled interior is composed of multifarious planes that crease and fold to form an intricate crystalline structure. The dramatically faceted surfaces envelope the space in a dynamic and mysterious impression. Submersed in a deliberately stark palette, the bar is predominantly coloured in

monotones of copper and dark champagne, further offset by bronzed mirrors. The seamless bronze vinyl flooring meets the angular vertical surfaces in an effortless connection. While the seating moulds onto the vaults and valleys of the walls, it further climbs onto the ceiling in pure reflection of the basal intention. The furniture is placed in accurate conjunction with the formal program, angular and faceted in its own right to keep with the decided aesthetic of the outer shell. Sharp edges of the faceted walls are softened by the luxury of padded fabric.

While the darkened surfaces do not allow for much reflected light, the volume is illuminated through slivers of luminous resin panels embedded at the edges of wall facets. Fitted with dimmable LED strips that are preprogrammed to be colour changing, the entire bar comes alive in the shifting hues of these outlines. Controlled to cater to varying moods and desires, the colour alters to address a multitude of functions. The dramatic strips of light are complemented by a series of ceiling recessed downlights that are aimed over table settings. Dimmed to perfection,


they emanate just enough light to facilitate a comfortable and intimate dining experience. The bar counter on the other hand is ornamented with an array of large pendants that cast a warm glow on the elongated bar-top, encouraging ease of gatherings. Prism like projections on the triangulated wall forms a dramatic backdrop for the DJ console. The volume begins to echo a precisely and meticulously carved gem, catching the light and reflecting it in a plethora of unpredictable histrionics, evoking a sense of being within the heart of the black diamond. Thus, while the Aura Spa oozes the composed sophistication of a venerated royal, reminiscent of the Nizam of Hyderabad’s age-old legacy of bedecked tradition, the Carbon bar sits on the brink of a futuristic rebel, enchanted by the abstraction of its customary convention, yet engulfed in its brilliant intricacy.

PROJECT DETAILS Aura Spa and Carbon Bar, Hyderabad Client: The Park Hotel Architect: Khosla Associates Project Team: Sandeep Khosla, Amaresh Anand and Dhaval S.

LIGHTING SPECIFIED REIZ: RGB Linear LEDs REIZ: Fixed Downlights 8W, 25W REIZ: Directional Downlights, 8 W REIZ: DMX Controller REIZ: Adjustable Gimbal lights, 12 W Lighting Supplier: REIZ Electrocontrols Pvt. Ltd.


project / at the edge of fluidity / just around the bend

JUST AROUND THE BEND Breaking the norm, the convention and the tradition of placing function in functionality, a part of the architectural development in India today is finding root in the rudimentary elements of nature. While some design practices are turning to the sensuality of the curve, melting edges into arched contours, they are moving away from the covenant to shape a newfangled branch of Indian architecture that is exciting, audacious and sometimes almost ostentatious.

Visuals: Studio Symbiosis


The design brief demanded a sports facility to be developed as part of an existing school complex in the small town of Raibareilly, to cater to the students of the school, as well as pose as a well-equipped venue for national level games. The clients also desired for the complex to become symbolic of their organization, the Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti, as well as serve as a landmark within the city

fabric. Nurturing underserved students of the area, the project promises to be a platform to groom future athletes of the country. The complex derives its name from the idea of interfacing the user and the built environment into a coherent whole, translating into trajectories of movement, which are underlined by interweaving various activities and circulation. Functions are


distributed into various zones alluding to pebbles being dropped in water, creating ripples that then transform into further utilities. While the focus lies on a large stadium structure that houses cricket, football and athletics, other sports are accommodated in different zones. Rising from the landscape, the architectural form curves to embrace these zones in parts and allow for open green areas in others, creating a sense of being nestled within a natural and verdant setting. The complex aspires to be a symbol for innovative architecture, sustainable

“Directed light is best used for sports to create shadows in order to articulate shapes, three dimensional objects and surfaces. Balanced with diffused light, it can create a fitting environment. Lighting tools that produce both diffused and directed light from one light source are particularly useful in such applications.” - LVI

design and energy performance. While piezoelectricity is explored in heavy traffic areas of the plaza, solar panels are proposed on the stadium roof to harness the abundantly available solar energy. Lighting also plays a crucial role in establishing the intent. LVI uses a linear vocabulary of continuous and segmented luminous bands to strengthen movement trajectories and guide the way for visitors. They employ a ‘diffuse-directed’ design criterion to identify a quality of light that transcends technical and physical aspects to interact with deeper human sensitivities.

The façade of the structure is illuminated in striking contrasts, accentuating the architectural form and texture. Varying brightness appears for the building to glow from within, and the fluid design that emerges from the ground creates a luminous silhouette that commands to be a focus of its context. While the complex makes its mark in the international arena of sports facilities, the sculptural form establishes itself as a landmark, but more so as an icon projecting a renewed style for architecture in the local and global realm.


project / at the edge of fluidity / just around the bend


Lighting Design ECMS Websites |

Visuals: M:OFA Studio

Commissioned by the Ministry of Tourism, Government of Goa, the National Institute of Water Sports (NIWS) is projected to be one-of-its-kind in Asia, connecting people with leisure water sports, providing cutting edge technology, facilities and opportunities. Stemming from an international level competition to design an iconic complex, M:OFA Studio strives to mimic the dynamic relationship between a surfer and the sea in its architectural intent. As the surfer sets forth against the current, at times gloriously riding the wave, at others getting engulfed within its wake; a conscious transpose is built where the idea of this potent oscillating time lapse is manifested in the built form. Following this conundrum, the proposed structure appears as if being pulled in by the rising tide, yet remains anchored firmly to the shore. The fluid form rises effortlessly from the landscape, melting with as much ease into an amorphous interconnected succession of spaces. Enveloped in a rustic sheath of Corten


steel, the building is envisioned to age with an austere elegance, transforming into myriad tones of sepia. Locally available laterite, composite wooden flooring and sand blasted granite augment its meditative character. Reminiscent of light dappling through the thicket, the perforated steel covering filters daylight into its shaded courts, while clusters of skylights allow for broad influx of natural light. On the other hand, the structure itself is illuminated by a sporadic placement of luminaires along the arched

“The built form shares a profound affinity with the site while merging harmoniously with the locational context. The design draws a major influence from the site, reflecting patterns of the sea and the traditional jetty, which encompasses the idea of the deck where the surface of water gets transformed into the building form. A verdant blanket of local flora envelopes the building and through its profusely layered foliage filters natural daylight into different parts of the site.” – M:OFA Studio

roof grid, while a series of linear lights further accentuates its curve. Illuminated passages cut across the site, accompanied by crisscrossing water channels that appear as gushing rivulets raring towards the aquatic expanse. The design is an assertion that the land is merely a path; the eventual refuge being the sea. As the sea expands and ebbs, the building complex resonates this cadence in its sinuous form, heading towards things to come, in sports and in architectural form in the country.


project / at the edge of fluidity / just around the bend


Visuals: Studio Symbiosis

A rapid degeneration of part of the riverside in Kanpur due to tanneries that are polluting the ground water and discharging waste into the river, called for a rehabilitation scheme that would relocate the industry away from the revered Ganga and nurture housing and recreational redevelopment. The transit corridor that traverses from Lucknow to Kanpur, marks the given site as an entryway into the city. Celebrating this critical role and its proximity to the holy waters are the driving force behind the design proposal.

Sandwiched between a dense city fabric on one end and free flowing waters on the other, two grids were developed – one vertical to integrate the existing city arteries into the masterplan, encouraging passage till the edge of the river; the other, a horizontal fluid graph that creates an interactive edge along the river, based on Program Attractors. Recreational, cultural and administrative programs are aligned to the water’s edge to complement existing elements such as the ghats and an archaeological site, whereas

additional requirements for commercial, residential and mixed-use developments are strategically placed along nodal points. The transport corridors and river edge have been taken as magnets facilitating the distribution of the program. Working with an activated master plan, LVI integrates the lighting scheme into the architectural intent. Safety and security are critical components while coordinating the design philosophy of the landscape and the streetscapes. Taking an architectural approach, their intent is to meet the


required illumination levels, albeit without flooding the space with light. Furthermore, they accentuate the architectural language and reinforce the geometry of volumes by employing a distinctive play of light and shadow. While faceted surfaces closer to the ground plane are grazed with intense bursts of light, higher surfaces are softly lit from strategically placed pole-mounted luminaires. Detailed lighting studies and

calculations enable them to determine appropriate positions of fittings and their angles. The lighting vocabulary adapts itself to interior courtyards that glow from within, while the landscape is washed in a subtle ambience achieved by embedding light sources within handrails, under benches and below curbs to define navigation paths. Green patches are further highlighted to

gain a harmonizing semblance in the overall visual composition. The masterplan activates the waterfront in a manner that its undulating edges capture and energise public interaction, much to the effect of similar settings world over. The curvilinear design intent propagates and promotes the aspirations of the city towards a well integrated context.

“The skyline responds to a number of site and program conditions. The proposal flows out from the existing city, thereby keeping it similar to the scale of its surroundings, and gradually starts creating a high point that responds to the program. Along the riverfront, the skyline responds to the water’s edge and flows as a silhouette, reinforcing the character of the riverfront edge.” – Studio Symbiosis “The control strategy employs a digitally addressable light interface system; zoning controls and dimming capabilities that allow for a holistic, integrated scheme for greater energy efficiency. This helps balance the general quality and brightness of artificial light in relation to usage and daylight.” – LVI


project / at the edge of fluidity / just around the bend


Visuals: SEZA

“The architecture has to speak a singular language, lighting should only enhance the experience of architecture, it should never overpower it. The lighting created for a building should also be understated so that it makes the streetscape and the entire urban experience enjoyable.” - SEZA

Architecture is often exposed to paradoxical patterns of human behavior, wherein designs that reflect local building traditions are termed sans-inspiration, while those that challenge the norms are branded egotistical. Striking a balance between the familiar and unexpected, and merging the traditional with the unusual, SEZA breaks away from the ‘office box’ typology to create an invigorating workspace. Restricted to construct on only a third of the site due to existing high tension wires, the building was permitted to be raised to ten floors, as opposed to the five storey structures that surround it. The resultant open area is proposed as parking and green space, facilitating a natural setting for recreation and relaxation. The structure derives its curvaceous form from various parameters such as orientation, ventilation,

open terraces and shaded courts. While the southwest end is packed with a stairwell core to prevent ingress of heat into the offices, the façade is equipped with horizontal fins that block the harsh sun, yet encourage cross ventilation. The office spaces on the other hand are located along the northern edge, taking advantage of the abundant daylight, and reducing dependency on artificial illumination. Each floor plate is carved with indoor and outdoor spaces of varying sizes, with offices opening onto the outdoor terraces. Stacked vertically, these spaces form an interesting composition of solids and voids, with deep overhangs that generate a creative interplay of light and shade. While the lower floors are protected from the neighbouring highway by a series of plantation, the building employs a


“The type of light fitting used everywhere is the same linear strip, as we wanted the architecture to speak a singular language. This particular strip fitting was chosen as much for its ability to be concealed in the undulating panels, as it was for its affordability. Thus achieving the desired lighting effects and simultaneously creating architecture that is responsible and sustainable.” - SEZA

stepped back approach in the upper levels owing to its proximity to busy vehicular passage. Public amenities are concentrated along the podium, complimented by an additional eatery, gym and spill out space on the terrace. The lighting scheme is used strategically to emphasise the formal configuration of the building, enhancing the differing swinging profiles. Using LED profiles to accentuate

the curvilinear shape allows for the structure to be perceived as a fluid stroke of architecture, which is further supplemented by linear strip luminaires in the stairwell. The lighting scheme accents the fluid forms of the building that stands in response to its contextual parameters. The commercial complex formalizes itself to culminate in a stimulating environment offset by bold, fluid architectural strokes.


project / at the edge of fluidity / just around the bend


Visuals: Studio Symbiosis

Located on the historic and revered intersection of the three holy rivers of India, Ganga, Yamuna and Saraswati, Allahabad city is considered a spiritual marker, defining unity and amalgamation. Studio Symbiosis derives the formal as well as programmatic zoning of the masterplan of the given site from the idea of the universal symbol of unity – a continuous loop enclosing three spaces, the centre of which acts as a culmination of recreational and commercial function. The brief demanded a collation of industrial, residential, housing, institutional, commercial and mixed-use lands. Morphing the typologies from one use to another facilitates a gradual change in the functional zoning, encouraging a sense of unity. Encompassing surrounding villages and integrating green with built up areas was essential to establish a fluid movement through the space, with greens punctuating constructed regions and creating a network for pedestrians.


“The star form of the green transforms from unbuilt to the built feature of the buildings in the central Sangam area, along with the neighborhood green morphing into urban green plazas or activity zones where light installations, art installations, theatre performances or outdoor cinema can happen. The urban plaza should always be active and alive. Always changing and offering different performances and installations.” – Studio Symbiosis

Following the directive of amalgamating elements, lighting consultants LVI worked to integrate lighting with the architecture and landscape, bringing together both built and unbuilt forms at night. Creating a focus on the central urban plaza, they connect the buildings visually while forming radials into the vast landscape. The plaza is the hub of activity, and is used for public art installations integrated with lighting, street theatre performances specially

choreographed to be presented at night, incorporating stage lights dramatic, and colorful and interactive lighting for the inhabitants. Lighting solutions accomplish a multiplicity of tasks, fulfilling precise technical and aesthetic criteria. A carefully selected family of luminaires with a coordinated finish is used through the project to complement the refined aesthetic of the streetscapes. These products are identified

to have even distribution of light, starker contrast ratios, higher colour rendering values and minimum glare. All of these aspects contribute to better safety and security along the city and sidewalks. As the meandering rivers integrate to create a momentous environment, the curvesome masterplan encompasses the spirit of the city and converges its energies to present a renewed life to the site.


project / at the edge of fluidity / just around the bend

Project PARAG PARLOUR AND MUSEUM Location LUCKNOW Architectural Design STUDIO ARCHOHM Website

Visuals: Studio Archom

“Architecture has always relied on its best ever ally - light to have a multitude of meaningful conversations with people. It would be pertinent to observe that the sensuous curve, the dramatic silhouette and freeflowing glamorous form gets uplifted, almost enlightened when illuminated.” – studio archohm

A big splash of creamy white milk is the driving force behind the architectural design of the Parag Parlour. Starting with a sensuous outline, the vocabulary was soon developed into a playful, three-dimensional sinuous profile, which further evolved into a massive sloping green terrace for people, children especially, to spend leisure time, while the space beneath metamorphosed into a museum. Housing a state-of-the-art milk parlour for the Parag brand of dairy products, the complex includes within it offices and a museum that parlays an informative, interactive and partially operable miniaturised version of manufacturing

processes of milk and its products. Studio archohm extends the brief to create a sculptural form where ‘green architecture’ is demonstrated as a way of life rather than an afterthought, and a bold, free flowing landmark appears within the urban fabric. The imposing berm allows the structure to turn away from the sun, blocking its ferocity on the southern and western sides, but welcoming it to flood the interiors from the northern glazed façade, ironically making light of this mass. The ‘back’ to the sun, becomes a ‘front’ – presenting itself to the world as an enormous field and as a symbol of their ideologies. Facing the cuboidal office building with


“Lights are powerful tools used by the building to attract the attention of children and then initiate an interaction with them. The small building is indeed a big gesture.” its curved roof merging into the flatness of its neighbour, the two blocks stand in unison, for the wave that goes up comes down. The lighting scheme highlights the paradox between mass and void; the distinction between the two blocks - light and heavy, public and private, front and back. This is resolved through an array of shadows that guide the way inside from the entrance plaza. While the internal space is warmly aglow with natural light in the day, at night, the transparent architecture seeks to diminish the distinction between inside and out. The roof, a hyperbolic paraboloid is a unique coffer where no two quadrants are identical. Highlighting clear lines of the structure and the emergent carved out translucent ceiling, are key aspects of the lighting intent. The lighting of the lengthy glazing is not visible from the front but only upon entry, thereby carrying an element of surprise. The theatrics of the ‘splash’ is exaggerated in the dramatically lit architecture.


project / at the edge of fluidity / just around the bend

Project DOUBLE TREE HOTEL Location AHMEDABAD Architectural Design STUDIO SYMBIOSIS Lighting Design LIGHT VISION INDIA Website

Visuals: Studio Symbiosis

“Reminiscent of a wave carving a canyon, the functions are carved from the building mass in a coherent design language.” – Studio Symbiosis

Rising up like a wave from the ground, the full service five star hotel building looks at interweaving the concepts of waves in nature, fold lines as movement trajectories and perception along with programmatic requirements. The structure gradually transitions from the horizontal landscape to vertical plane, comprising of three waves that are carefully translated into dramatic key spaces on the lower floors, while the upper floors evolve into standardized room grids with an intentionally repetitive façade. The highly distinct form of the building renders it a prime candidate for an iconic landmark in its urban context. LVI illuminates the façade in a manner that gently activates the fluid architectural style of the monolithic structure by using

linear light fixtures to accentuate linear design elements. Thus, giving it an elegant nighttime presence and distinguishing it from the neighbouring cityscape. The façade is designed as an integrated part of the building; wherein the slightest flux in the internal space creates ripples on the outer skin. The undulating form of the structure stems from the base that houses various public amenities such as the lobby, banquets, meeting rooms, shopping areas and other services. The entry is celebrated with a large cantilever that dramatically welcomes the guests into its realm. The restaurants are located strategically to overlook green spaces, effortlessly diminishing boundaries between inside and outside. While the all-day dining coffee shop connects directly with the lobby


area, offering ease of access, the specialty restaurants are lifted one floor up to a more intimate and distinguished ambience. Climbing up, the soaring tower that houses a range of room configurations is capped with a spa, gym, salon and swimming pool on the terrace. With breathtaking views of the city and well distanced from its chaos, this is the perfect place for repose. LVI’s intention lies in doing justice to the architecture in a way that the lighting does not become overbearing at any point. They follow international standards and design paradigms to create this modern and fluid, almost organic structure that stands to redefine the skyline of Ahmedabad. Envisioned as a timeless beacon of architecture, the innovative design purposefully integrates light with culture and technology. The lambent fold in the city’s topography that rises into the sky translates into an iconic light-mark in Ahmedabad, distinct in its architectural form that commands a cautious consideration within its conventional context.

“Lighting design principles followed throughout the project echo the use of latest technology to create a comfortable and flexible scheme. By using solid-state lighting, we have designed an environment-friendly hospitality property, with minimal night pollution and excellent energy efficiency.” – LVI


project / at the edge of fluidity / just around the bend


Visuals: Talati and Pathaky Associates


With an open ended brief for one of four eateries within a complex, TPA’s intuitive response to the project was to create something out of the ordinary, moving away from the stereotypical visual branding slapped onto regional and specialized cuisine restaurants. Autumn winds in Japan, carrying with it a swarm of auburn maple leaves; resting in the woods as the sun sets low and darkness envelopes the sky; peering through the thicket into the barren void in the distance; basking in the warmth of lanterns suspended overhead, were visuals from where the ambience was derived. TPA defined for themselves the idea of mystery and that, which is hidden, to be revealed slowly and gradually, a journey of exploring the unknown with curiosity peaking at glimpses of the uncertain in the distance. Operational solely in the evening, the large windows in the restaurant are rendered as portholes into deep dark recesses. The blackened walls and ceiling enhance the boundless volume, while warm wooden partitions abstract verdant topiary. Entering a brightly lit space flanked on one



“Lighting the restaurant was just as much about providing an all embracing warm glow, as much as highlighting all the contrasting yet homogeneous layers of the architectural materials, textures and details. The space would then become luminescent and celebratory, the modulated brightness then becoming organic and respectful of the interior designer’s vision.” - KSA

side with a glowing white bar, and on the other with an internally lit amber partition plastered with the visuals of golden maple leaves, the elongated volume pulls the eye inwards to seek what lies at the end of passage. The teppanyaki grill sits in austere serenity, enticing the visitors a taste. Large wooden panels in undulating profiles are sandwiched together to create partitions, each layer accentuated against the other with buried strips of LED that backlight the edges. The design carries through to the ceiling wherein a rippling blanket of wooden strips poses as a veil to the dark expanse beyond. Peppered with suspended lamps by Greypants that wash

the space in pools of warm light, the setting is complete. The sinuous design language dipped in a contemporary aura disintegrates the preconceived notion of a pan-Asian restaurant that is meant to be bathed in cultural motifs and rigid orthogonal geometries. The multi-layered approach in formal organisation is aptly complimented by a literal translation of the idea with respect to the material palette, lighting scheme as well as visual perception. Peeling one layer after the other, the sense of mystery and exploration is balanced by the ease of the curvaceous design vocabulary.

“The playful rendition of hideand-go-seek conceals and reveals elements as one transitions through the apportioned volume.” – TPA


project / at the edge of fluidity / just around the bend



Visuals: James Law Cybertecture

“This multi use development will be actively known as the Mumbai gateway and will be an international portal into the vibrant urban oasis of India and its culture.” – James Law Cybertecture

Working on a 2.56-hectare site in the midst of dense Mumbai, James Law Cybertecture was presented the luxury to not construct a soaring tower. Instead, the convention centre that is located on a brownfield near the Mumbai International Airport, within the existing Mumbai University campus was envisioned as a circular building formed by an impressive diagrid structure. The three storeyed spherical structure stands glimmering in its neighbourhood as the intricate steel grid is enveloped with countless panes of glass to form an iconic assemblage of innovation in architectural

engineering and design. Pinned in the centre by a 50,000 sq. ft. mixed-use plenary hall with a capacity for 4,200 seats, the enormous space facilitates concerts, performances and shows, as well as caters to banquets, sports facilities and exhibitions. The largest venue of its kind in the city, it offers myriad options for hosting events of varying scales and purposes. With a giant oculus looking into the hall, it is flooded with natural light that not only changes the nature of its radiance through the day, but also transforms the ambience in the space

from a refreshing brightness to intimate warmth. This is complimented by a lighting scheme that reasons with the nature of the affair being hosted. While concerts and shows need concentrated theatric lighting, exhibitions and sporting events demand uniform illumination, and banquets allow for cozier, more intimate settings. The first level houses food and beverage facilities that offer 360-degree views to the university campus and city beyond. Flooded with daylight, the eateries are rendered in a kind cheerfulness. The upper most levels comprise of offices and

workplaces, including multi sized meeting and conference rooms. Holding multifarious functions and facilities within a singular roof that bends to consolidate the structure into a continuous shell, the Mumbai University and ASK Foundation Convention Centre aspires to become an icon within the compressed urban fabric. Creating a distinguished identity in its playful but intense design, its sits in establishment of welcoming through its doors the people of Mumbai, and hosting within its realm their work, their doing and their lives.


art & design / Pavilion of Canopies, Bansberia, WEst bengal

Pics: Sayantan Chakraborty

FROM WITHIN THE UMBRAGE Abin Design Studio creates an ethereal pavilion on the outskirts of Kolkata to celebrate tribal rituals and divine enlightenment, using fabric, bamboo and a vision to recreate childhood memories. Abstracting the journey through a forest to seek divine enlightenment, Abin Design Studio created an experience mimicking the odyssey, albeit through a thicket of lambent fabric panels. Built for religious festive activities for a tribal community in Bansberia, near Kolkata, the concept for the ‘Pavilion of Canopies’ was driven by a celebration of tribal life, rituals and the symbiotic relationship with the woods. 19 discs, each measuring 10’ diametrically are laid out within a 60’ periphery in a Mandala-like plan. Supported by a meticulous bamboo structure, the discs are raised 20’ in the air. Suspended from the air-borne frames, undulating sheaths of white fabric sail overhead forming a


blanket of soft vertical planes. Derived from a series of parameters that dictate the varying height and width of the panels, the 38 planes result in a ‘parametric canopy that surges like tangled vegetation of a forest’. Abin Chaudhuri reminisces the many cherished memories of growing up in the Bengali countryside, witnessing shooting stars through the canopy of trees. “The design seeks to subtly echo that spectacle by placing LED drop lights within the spaces of the fabric panels. The placement of handcrafted birds from local artisans perched on the fabric canopies not only evokes the spirit of the forest but also provides them with a source of additional

income and a platform to showcase local art. The construction is sustainable since the primary building materials of fabric and bamboo would be re-used in future community events. As an exercise in abstracting tradition, the plan was a contemporary update of the classical temple pavilion. The idea was to circumnavigate through the forest of canopies and arrive at the shrine that housed the deity. The cascading drapes of the fabric planes were lifted in places to create almost a forest pathway for the devotees to trace their steps to the shrine. Formally, the fabric canopy can also be thought of as an inverted temple Shikhara. The Indian temple is a classical example of

designing a devotional community space. The conceptualization of the Pavilion of Canopies is in its essence, a contemporary attempt at re-imagining this ancient tradition.” Since the 1500 sq. m. pavilion was to be operational in the day as well as the night, the lighting was envisioned as an intrinsic part of its design. Strategically placed LED drop lights, accompanied with serial lights sourced locally provide a soft glow to the blanched marquee overhead, while flickering luminaires placed on the ground present a surreal feel to the passers by. Thus, rendering the entire pavilion in an ethereal mesmerising force.


art & design / The Media Architecture Institute, Sydney, Australia

Chromapollination, Sydney 2012


New ways of seeing light M. Hank Haeusler of the Media Architecture Institute examines the latest developments in media architecture and digital placemaking ahead of MAB16 (Media Architecture Biennale) in Sydney, Australia.


art & design / The Media Architecture Institute, Sydney, Australia

Participation +, Sydney 2016. Pic: Luke Hespanhol

Every day we flick a switch. In the morning the bathroom light allows us to shave or make up a face with precision. In the evening the warm light of a bedside lamp soothes us into sleep. Yet light as we know it is really so much more than a means to providing clearer vision for our day-to-day activities. The thoughtful use of light and lighting design, has transformed a multitude of industries in architecture, engineering and construction. The Media Architecture Institute has discussed and encouraged the use of light as an actual architectural building material in many of our previous publications. [1][2] In the foreword of our last book New Media Facades – A global survey, Ben van Berkel (Co-founder and Principal Architect of UN Studio) wrote: “Fast paced progress in technology now means we can appropriate the media façade into the architect’s palette and work with gradients of colour, light and shadows to affect an architectural visual language which can surpass traditional advertising imagery and create a homogeneous cultural effect.” [2] With a focus on light and its relationship to architecture, the publications of the Media Architecture Institute presented a survey of media façades as early protagonists of media architecture. The first focusing on history, technology and content [1], then on a global survey that identified trends and

common patterns of media façades across the globe. [2] As digital light technologies become more pervasive and more versatile, new opportunities are arising for light and media to change more and more industries. The next wave of media architecture is not now limited to an individual building. Instead, it will encompass the space beyond: the neighbourhood, the precinct, the city. The most important aspect of this development is that it is citizen-centric. The next generation of media architecture is about people and bringing communities together. The evolution of a citizen-centric vision is where we find parallels to placemaking, and new opportunities for using light and media to shape our experiences in cities. The idea of placemaking has grown out of the discipline of urban design and dates back to the early 1960’s when Jane Jacobs and William W. Whyte emphasised the “social and cultural importance of lively neighbourhoods and inviting public spaces” within the context of their work. [3] The core principles of placemaking are of course all about people, citizens and communities. The key fundamentals that define placemaking are: designing cities for people and including citizens in the decision making process when designing public spaces. The aim of placemaking initiatives is to create a sense of “place”, which is regarded in urban design as a “human

need, essential for well being and feelings of safety, security and orientation, and a remedy against feelings of alienation and estrangement”. [4] It is this sense of place that is experienced and sometimes transformed by citizens and passers-by. The “place” in placemaking becomes critical for those people and communities who “dwell in the urban”. [5] Digital and social media are opening up new doors for placemakers to engage with local communities [6][7] and to devise solutions that employ digital technologies in unprecedented ways to address aspects of social wellbeing and a sense of community. This idea of engaging digital tools to facilitate citizen-focused placemaking is known as ‘digital placemaking’. Digital placemaking has traditionally used digital tools to involve citizens in urban development decisions. More recently, we have seen developments in this area that incorporate light and media to create situated experiences. How and when light can be used was a topic of discussion at the Media Architecture Biennale in Aarhus in 2014 and will feature heavily on the agenda for the forthcoming Media Architecture Biennale 2016 in Sydney. How does light unfold as part of media architecture? Mostly, it can be seen in the context of festivals or exhibitions, or through more permanent installations, such as the Crown Fountain, at Millennium Park, Chicago, which activates a park landscape


Orkhestra, Frankfurt 2014. Pic: Wolfgang Leeb


art & design / The Media Architecture Institute, Sydney, Australia

Orkhestra, Frankfurt 2014. Pic: Wolfgang Leeb

through an urban screen displaying video portraits of members from local communities. In Sydney, Australia, the annual festival of light and ideas, Vivid Sydney, includes a light walk featuring light sculptures and façade projections around Sydney Harbour and across the city. In 2015, Vivid Sydney attracted 1.7 million people over a period of eighteen days. Similar festivals are held across the globe. Beyond boosting winter tourism and the local economy, such festivals offer temporary experiences by altering the dynamics of public space. [7] Members of the Media Architecture Institute were involved in a number of light installations displayed during Vivid Sydney in which we explored different ways of using light and media to activate urban spaces. Solstice LAMP was an interactive light installation shown on the façade of a skyscraper and the courtyard in front of the AMP building at Sydney’s Circular Quay. [8] People were able to step into the interactive space and to compose musical tunes, which then travelled up the skyscraper turning into origami cranes. This setup provided passers-by with a sense of empowerment, as they were able to draw digital media artefacts onto the façade of

an iconic building at Sydney’s harbour front, but the interactive space led to a number of social encounters between friends, families and strangers alike. In another installation, Chromapollination, the use of light sculptures taking the shape of dandelions to activate a dark passageway. [9] Through this activation, the space was transformed from a thoroughfare to a destination, lighting up people’s daily walk to and from the train station – not just through light but also by creating connections with the space and with each other. In 2014, in Frankfurt, Germany, a similar installation exploring different ways of using light and media to activate urban spaces was created - Orkhēstra. This installation pushed the boundaries of what a screen can be and enabled the display of content on a complex curved 3D object. Here, the audience could participate with the installation through their cameras, as the installation responded to flash lights the content created a light wave moving away from the flash light along the LEDs on the installation. This year the Media Architecture Institute will present an installation that is completely designed by a computer for Vivid, Sydney. Participation + has been

designed through a software mechanism that takes input information including cable lengths and DMX protocols and uses this information to generate a design. This degree of innovation using light and media align with the idea of creative placemaking, which describes an approach that “animates public and private spaces, rejuvenates structures and streetscapes, improves local business viability and public safety, and brings diverse people together to celebrate, inspire, and be inspired”. [10] The technology and the knowledge for how to design light that activates and responds to urban spaces is within our reach. As we move from building-scale to city-scale thinking, we need to identify strategies for designing experiences that respond to the needs and desires of citizens. Digital placemaking can provide the framework and principles to ensure that these experiences meaningfully connect citizens with the spaces in which they live, work, and play. mondo*arc is a media partner of the Media Architecture Biennale 2016, taking place at the Concourse in Sydney, from June 1st to 4th.

References: 1. Haeusler, M.H. (2009). Media Façades: History, Technology, Content. Avedition GmbH; 2. Haeusler, M. H., Tomitsch, M., & Tscherteu, G. (2012). New Media Facades: A Global Survey. Avedition; 3. “What is Placemaking?”, Projects for Public Spaces, accessed March 31, 2016,; 4. Aravot, I. (2002). “Back to Phenomenological Placemaking.” Journal of Urban Design 7, 2, 201–212; 5. Friedmann, J. (2010). “Place and Place-Making in Cities: A Global Per-spective.” Planning Theory & Practice 11, 2, 149–165; 6. Latorre, D., “Digital Placemaking – Authentic Civic Engagement,” Projects for Public Spaces, September 22, 2011, http://www.pps. org/blog/digital-placemaking-authentic-civic-engagement/; 7. Fredericks, J., Hespanhol, L., & Tomitsch, M. (2016). “Not Just Pretty Lights: Using Digital Technologies to Inform City Making.” In Proceedings of the Media Architecture Biennale (MAB’16); 8. Hespanhol, L., Tomitsch, M., Bown, O., & Young, M. (2014). “Using embodied audio-visual interaction to promote social encounters around large media façades.” In Proceedings of the 2014 conference on Designing interactive systems (pp. 945-954). ACM; 9. Hespanhol, L., & Tomitsch, M. (2012). “Designing for collective participation with media installations in public spaces.” In Proceedings of the 4th Media Architecture Biennale Conference: Participation (pp. 33-42). ACM; 10. Nicodemus, A. (2014). “Creative placemaking 101 for community developers — LISC Institute for Comprehensive Community Development.” Institute for Comprehensive Community Development,


Paris Professional Lighting Design Convention 1. - 4. November, 2017 - shift happens -

up to 90 paper presentations / more than 1500 attendees expected / latest know-how and research findings / 6 renowned Keynote Speakers / exhibition of leading manufacturers / gala dinner and PLD Recognition Award / marketplace for the PLD community / excursions / pre-convention meetings / Cities’ Forum / experience rooms / social events / The Challenge: Round IV / self-running poster presentations / PLD community lounge / moderated discussions

PLDC is a brand of the


art & design / LEAVES OF LUXURY

Images courtesy of Haberdashery 2016

Leaves of Luxury Leaf by Haberdashery celebrates the luxury and refinement associated with traditional bone china in a new sculptural lighting product system. London-based design practice Haberdashery has been developing bespoke lighting sculptures since 2008 for a range of international clients and locations. By blending a skillset converging art, design and engineering, it is able to deliver landmark sculptural and lighting projects driven by a strong narrative. In 2015 the studio began to work within the world of products, with its first entitled Leaf, launched officially during Design Junction at the London Design Festival. Leaf is a UK-made, hand-finished bone china product developed in conjunction with the William Edwards factory in Stoke-on-Trent.

Designed to sit within a home environment, each Leaf sculpture is comprised of a canopy of delicately moulded bone china leaves suspended on thin wire from a ceiling plate with integrated downlights. “On the leaf, bone china enables a very thin edge, giving it a translucent quality that lets the finish feel lighter because it’s literally letting light through the surface,” commented Haberdashery Creative Director Ben Rigby. “We’re interested in the subtlety and detail of material and how it plays with light, so bone china seemed like a good match for us.” Haberdashery likes to play with light and

shadow to create atmosphere within an interior space. In order to do that with Leaf, they had to find finishes that would play with light in interesting ways; using 14 karat gold and platinum lustres, a highly reflective and opulent surface on the underside of the leaves reflects light while creating wonderful surface reflection. Developed in the 16th century in Bow, East London then perfected in Stoke on Trent, bone china has ever since been hailed as the ultimate porcelain. “It’s very much a British material, with very specific qualities about it,” said Rigby. “It’s a strong and durable material, but at the

same time allows you the freedom to make something very delicate.” These unique qualities made it ideal for Haberdashery to use in developing Leaf, and are in line with the studio’s ambition to keep manufacturing within the UK whenever possible whilst using the finest material for the job. “We found a great manufacturer called William Edwards to collaborate with and they were really positive in helping us make sure we got something really detailed and exactly to our specification,” said Rigby. “So it’s a lovely story for the Stoke-On-Trent ceramics industry, which is now reinventing

itself. I think we’re adding a good push in the right direction for this material to renew itself in the 21st century.” When the seventh Duchess of Bedford introduced the concept of afternoon tea in 1840 to see her through those late afternoon hours preceding fashionably-late dinner, she inadvertently championed what has become a national pastime. Drinking tea from delicate bone china cups allowed those who could afford them to show off the strength of the material by adding the boiling tea first. Since these pioneering days of serving tea, bone china has become synonymous with luxury and refinement,

Facing Page Leaf on display at FBC-London; medium ellipse in Gold Lustre. Top Leaves with real platinum lustre showing the highly reflective surface.

and celebrates the unique skillset of the Stoke-On-Trent ceramic industry; qualities that are now celebrated in the Leaf product and incorporated with light. Haberdashery’s Leaf not only acts as an original and timeless centrepiece to a dining or living space, but when lit creates dramatic shadow across the surrounding surfaces; although using simple, easy to maintain GU10 downlights the actual lighting effect is sophisticated and complex, drawing on Haberdashery’s rich experience in telling stories with light. Leaf interacts with light through reflection and shadow, rendering the effects of Leaf much bigger than the sum of its parts, as the shadows created spread over the floor and are reflected back onto the ceiling. “It’s a very simple effect really,” explained Rigby.

“We light from above with standard ceiling downlights to create the shadows. The leaves that have a metallic lustre bounce ambient light off the underside, creating little patterns on the ceiling that are reflected from the metallic surfaces on the bottom. With the white version, you actually see light coming through, so they have a glowing quality to them.” Leaf is available in a range of ceiling plate shapes and sizes, several lustres or glazed finishes on the bone china and can be suspended on either tarnish-resistant brass or stainless steel cables. The product is designed to allow for easy installation into a simple ply pattress, into a ceiling slab or into ceiling timbers. With each Leaf product made to order, the drop height is customised to each new client space

to ensure the optimum viewing level and play of light and shadow, with the largest bespoke versions to date utilising over 3,500 leaves in a single sculpture. Represented exclusively by luxury interiorspecialists FBC-London in the UK founded by Fiona Barrett Campbell, Leaf is a prominent piece displayed in the studio space. “I was introduced to Haberdashery a year ago," said Campbell. "What struck me about the Leaf in particular and the reason that I have chosen to represent this product is their timeless approach to design. Their organically structured installation contrasts beautifully with the industrial elegance of our studio. There is great synchronicity between the polished white and gold refined glaze of the Leaf and the FBC London collection.”


Haberdashery also develop bespoke versions, working directly with clients to sculpt a unique configuration for each new space, whether an atrium, hallway, stairwell or restaurant. The careful control of light and shadow in conjunction with a mastery of material is an approach that Haberdashery will be applying to further products in development during 2016, with an increasing application of appropriate technologies to be embedded within product designs. Rigby discussed with darc how Haberdashery might experiment further with the nature of this material: “In the past grains of rice have been set within ceramics to allow light to pass through once fired into the material; we are looking to explore more modern methods of achieving this effect using rapid prototyping to

create more detailed moulds, and further play with translucency and light. We are developing a more contemporary range of lighting products in 2016 to be launched at Design Junction London, and we hope that ceramics will play a part in the ranges we will develop early 2017, with colour also playing a major part of our product lines.” As such a versatile material, bone china appears the perfect partner to light, playing on its qualities of luminescence and shadow in the same movements. With plans to delve further into the possibilities that this material presents, Haberdashery will no doubt bring bone china in another journey from its origins in the nineteenth century to the world of light in the twenty-first.

Facing Page Concept sketches in development for products in 2016/17 featuring floral forms. Top Left Bone china leaves drying at manufacturing partner William Edwards in Stoke on Trent. Top Right Individual moulds being opened to reveal slip cast leaf forms. Top An individual mould opened to reveal greenware (unfired clay ready for the kiln).


art & design / Panorama of the Skies

Pics: Arturi Ortiz

PANORAMIC PERSUASION Through collaboration with Hrvoje Benko, a human-computer interaction researcher at Microsoft, artist Maja Petric has transformed a standard, every day conference room at the Microsoft 99 Building in the US, into a truly interactive audiovisual installation aimed at creating a truly emotional experience.


A normal conference room at Microsoft Research Building is transformed into a place where sun rises, until the lighting strikes and the storm takes over. Then comes the calm after the storm, in the purpose of complete immersion of a viewer into an elevated emotional space.

A Panorama of the Skies is an interactive audiovisual installation created in collaboration between artist Maja Petric and Hrvoje Benko, a human-computer interaction researcher at Microsoft Research. Maha Petric is an artist working at the interface of science, technology and art. She holds the Doctorate in Digital Art and Experimental Media from the University of Washington and a Masters degree in new media art from New York University, Tisch School of the Arts, Interactive Telecommunications Program.

Together, the duo have been researching the possibilities of immersive technologies through which a space can be experienced emotionally. Their focus has been on the innovative application of audiovisual experience that engages perception, emotion and imagination and morphs experience of space. For this project, the duo transformed the experience of an otherwise normal conference room at Microsoft’s Building 99, through the use of audiovisual content, with a multi-projector and multi-depth-camera framework called RoomAlive Toolkit. The

system uses five projectors and eight Kinect cameras to acquire a detailed map of the room, register the projectors and cameras into a single coordinate system, and enable real-time projection mapping in the immersive scene. The sound was created by Daniel Peterson, a doctoral student at the University of Washington’s Center for Digital Art and Experimental Media with an emphasis on composition, spatial sound, ambisonics and spectral analysis.

Pics: Felipe Ribon


The Science of Light French designer Mathieu Lehanneur is world known for his fascination with science and a humanistic approach to his work, which takes him far beyond product design. During Maison et Objet Paris in January, visitors were able to experience two of his latest lighting projects - Clover and Les Cordes.


art & design / Clover and Les Cordes

Considered one of the world’s top 100 designers and influencers, Mathieu Lehanneur is a French designer at the forefront of the international design scene. He is also one of the few of his generation to use his talent in a variety of disciplines beyond furniture design. During Maison et Objet Paris in January, Lehanneur presented two major lighting projects in the city: his lighting feature Les Cordes, originally created for the Decorative Arts Museum of Marseille, France and his first urban lighting furniture collection Clover, on display at an apt location in front of the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy in Paris. Having grown up in the suburbs of Paris, a career in design wasn’t always on the cards for Lehanneur and before embarking on a degree in design at ENSCI-Les Ateliers / Ecole Nationale Superieure de Creation Industrielle, he longed to become an artist. “After studying art for around six months, I realised that for me, inspiration came

from working with a client and I preferred the idea of this, rather than being completely autonomous in the world of art,” Lehanneur tells darc. “I always knew I wanted to work within the creative field in some way and in the end decided on design.” Fascinated and inspired by science, Lehanneur funded his studies through taking part in pharmaceutical trials, which in turn, brought inspiration for his first collection - Therapeutic Objects, a range of remedies that were easier to use than those he’d seen during the drug trials. By designing medicine Lehanneur was trying to connect directly with the ‘living element’ – the user. With Therapeutic Objects now part of MoMA New York’s permanent collection, this humanistic approach continues in his work today. Lehannuer considers human beings as complex structures that need more than just chairs, but also air to breathe, sustainable food, good health and love in order to live better.

Clover - a series of trees encompassing energy, functions and materials - stood tall outside the Ministry of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy in Paris during Maison et Objet in January.


Pic: Courtesy Carpenters Workshop Gallery, photo by Adrien Millot

Making its debut in Paris at the beginning of the year, outdoor lighting fixture Clover is an opportunity for the public to ‘break and recharge’ and is a follow up to the designer’s 2012 creation of Digital Break, a range of WiFi stations in Champs Elysees Avenue that offered a new way of experiencing the city and connecting with the rest of the world. Clover is a series of ‘trees’ encompassing energy, functions and materials. Lehanneur describes them as “hybrid objects of excellence, combining light and seating, wood and solar panels, town and country. It (Clover) is a new living species – both wild and domestic, natural and technological,” he says. Carved from a wooden mast, Clover comprises a floor lamp and bench that appear cut and polished by the hands of a craftsman; rather, they are digitally machined using an unprecedented industrial process that allows the designer to blend different species of wood together.

Lehanneur aims to create a structure like a “replanted tree that should have always been there”. Clover features large aluminium domes that release downward LED light to minimise light pollution and energy loss. An additional dome, faced upwards, is equipped with solar panels to produce enough energy to power the lamps for three hours. A small hatch is also available where passers-by can charge their smartphones. The Clover bench is designed to be adaptable and extendable – reaching over fifteen-metres long if required. This latest project was launched to coincide with this year’s COP21, United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris and was initiated and sponsored by the Poitou-Charentes French region under the leadership of its President Segolene Royal. The Les Cordes lighting feature was unveiled at the Carpenters Workshop Gallery also in January, in an exhibition

Les Cordes uses contemporary lighting technology with handcrafted work to create a modern representation of a chandelier.

entitled New Works (running until March 19). Having collaborated with the Gallery since 2011, Lehanneur is now officially joining its roster of represented artists, in line with his continuous artistic research and development. Les Cordes uses contemporary lighting technology with handcrafted work to create a modern representation of a chandelier. The glass tubes contain strips of LED that puncture the underside of the ceiling and hang down like loops of rope. A lighting programme allows the lights to be dimmed or brightened independently of one another. “The chandelier was conceived as a rope of light crossing the ceiling,” said Lehanneur. Only bands of light and glass are visible. Neither an object not a light fitting. It is the light itself that seems to live and circulate in the entrance space, as if stitched onto the actual building.” The New Works exhibition will run until March 19.


art & design / Sou Fujimoto and COS, Salone del Mobile 2016, milan

FOREST OF LIGHT Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto created an interactive installation for apparel brand COS that was showcased at the Salone del Mobile 2016.

Pics: Courtesy COS


COS returned to Salone del Mobile this April with a newly commissioned installation by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. Taking inspiration from the COS Spring Summer 2016 collection, ‘Forest of Light’ explored ideas of interaction and perspective; the darkened space illuminated by towering cones of light that were designed to respond to visitors’ movements. Specially-composed sounds, subtle fog and mirrored walls created an immersive, infinite landscape where the conical spotlights became abstracted trees in a shifting forest of light. Built in the 1930s by Italian architect Mario Cereghini, the installation was located in Cinema Arti in Milan’s San Babila district.

A former theatre, the now derelict venue inspired key aspects of Sou Fujimoto’s design and provided an expansive backdrop to the installation. COS has been inspired by the work of Sou Fujimoto for many years. Often focusing on negative space and the concept of bringing the outside in, some of Fujimoto’s most well-known architectural projects such as the 2013 Serpentine Gallery Pavilion blur the parameters of space, with edges dissolving into their surrounding environment. Martin Andersson, Head of Menswear Design at COS said of the collaboration, “Sou Fujimoto has really grasped the COS aesthetic, creating an installation that is

so special in its simplicity and surprising in its approach.” Karin Gustafsson, Head of Womenswear Design continued, “It has been great working with Sou Fujimoto on this project, we have never had such a beautifully simple installation focusing on light, and the effect is incredible”. Sou Fujimoto said of the installation, “The COS pavilion is the purest realisation of the forest concept. This forest is not static, but light and people interact with one another, this interaction connects fashion, space and forest as a form of architecture.”


art & design / lightstones

LIGHTSTONES Lighting designers Ingo Kalecinski and Tommaso Gimigliano present their range of self-illumination jewellery, LightStones, in conjunction with Mike Stoane Lighting.

LightStones, a new collection of selfilluminating jewellery, by London-based designers Ingo Kalecinski and Tommaso Gimigliano, both of dpa lighting consultants, is a symbiosis of engineering and handcrafting. Each piece is naturally unique within a selected range of designs including rings, earrings and necklaces. The original concept for LightStones was conceived by the pair in response to a competition set by Mike Stoane Lighting (MSL) in 2015. Consequently they were invited by MSL to create a limited edition of 100 rings to mark the company’s return to Light + Building this year. The line of designs includes gold plated,

natural brass and silver aluminium finishes with a range of decorative toppings such as glass beads and crystals, hand carved acrylics, perforated metals and, in homage to lighting technology today, a range of selected optical lenses. mondo*arc india speaks to the duo about their new venture: As lighting designers, you illuminate the built environment, then what gave birth to illuminated jewelry? We both come from a product design background and like to get our hands dirty, physically making things; something we don’t always get to do in our day jobs as lighting

designers. We both like beautiful objects and admire good design. As an Italian (Tommaso) and German (Ingo), our perspective on ‘good’ and ‘beauty’ are naturally not always in line, but that is exactly what adds variety and excitement to our creations. It felt like a natural progression to combine our passions for good design and beautiful objects with our passion for lighting. Our aim is it to create a range of wearable light art for individuals, offering them something new and fresh, and hopefully out of the ordinary. On the other hand, if worn by a collective of people, we envisage our jewellery to become an orchestrated yet organic piece of light sculpture.


What are your designs influenced by? Sex, drugs and rock’n’roll! And also the fact that our ultimate aim is to evoke a personal emotion within ourselves whilst developing our designs, as well as within the person who ends up wearing them. There is no greater drug than watching people enjoy your creations or work and you just want to roll with it and experience it over and over again. How does the jewellery represent a ‘wearable aura of light, able to instill wellbeing and define the boundaries of a personal microcosmos of warmth and comfort’? This is the essence of the jewels, referring to the origin of the concept at the MSL

competition. Held in a park, the organisers asked the participants to create a luminaire to light up the park, or part of it. Instead of lighting the woods, we aspired to make people glow by incorporating the designed luminaire within them. This would help to identify the position of the people in the darkness and analyze how they interact with each other. The wearable light would represent a personal aura that protects the individual from the darkness. In this context the bubble of light would become the outskirt boundary of our comfort and safe zone, separating the individual from the darkness of the night. Stylistically this exercise concentrates on

enhancing the beautiful minimalism and complexity of the lenses used in the lighting industry to collimate the light beam of the LED light sources. The lenses become gigantic precious stones mounted on an essential ring-like brass structure housing the battery and the light source as well. Together with these first pieces, both playful and serious styles have been combined with different colours of light in order to evoke many different feelings associated with the perception of the light, and its empathic and metaphysical allegories of the frame of mind of people wearing them.

Stage 1: Minimum Illumination

Stage 2: Intensity Increases

A non-interactive version was recently installed at India Design, New Delhi.

Stage 3: Colour Change and Intensity Increases Further

amorphous SurfaceS rat[LAB] INTERIORS designs a multi functional furniture piece that integrates lighting systems in its use. Recently, technology-driven concepts like ‘Internet of Things’ (IoT) have emerged and been used for smart products in many ways, mostly to define a network of connected objects to exchange data. Using the broader concept of IoT, many smart products have been developed that possess a distinguished character with embedded sensors, microprocessors, and the ability to connect to other machines over a local system. In today’s age of fast evolving technology, it would be demeaning to restrict our products and systems to a single use. ‘Amorphous Surfaces’ emerged as an idea to morph a single object to multiple uses with a conscious use of computational design, digital fabrication methods and integrated lighting systems for a locallyinteractive spatial artefact. The collection represents a method, technique and idea designed through mathematically driven algorithms, which are further used on

materials like wood, acrylic, metal or other sheet materials to produce fluid surfaces for interior and exterior spaces. Parametric Design Methods are used to drive elegance to form double-curved surfaces through sectioned components that can potentially be highlighted for feature walls, ceilings, wall art and stand-alone installations. Sensors and lighting systems have been well connected in the digital era, especially in the realm of using Occupancy and Vacancy sensors. On similar lines, ‘Amorphous Surfaces’ being a multi-functional furniture piece, is integrated with Piezoelectric (pressure) sensors at specific identified points of activity and usage (seating area and table). These pressureresponsive sensors (PZT ceramic/PMN-PT crystals) are further connected to piezotransducer. Responding to active pressures, like a person sitting on it, sensors feed data to the transducer, converting electrical energy into light energy (i.e. concealed

Stage 3: Colour Change and Maximum Instensity

lighting). These lights are calibrated by dimmers and colour changers, for desired effects in accordance to various situations and scales of pressures exerted on the piece. rat[LAB] Interiors uses LED ribbon flex on dimmable circuits to produce concealed lighting from within the alternative sections of MDF boards. To achieve optimum curvilinear aesthetics, LED-lights are added in-between each of its sectioned faces. Designed through mathematically driven algorithms, this piece generates a visual impression for light being embedded in a solid fluid object, thereby breaking the monotony in a monolithic piece. This adds to the continual rhythm of the installation, making it self-illuminated as it sits boldly in a space. After all, the method, technique and idea of ‘Amorphous Surfaces’ is as amorphic as light itself.

mondomoment #07 - Sagrada Familia, Barcelona, Spain Photographed by Terri Meyer Boake, Professor, School of Architecture, University of Waterloo


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art & design / IAld india light workshops

IALD India Light WorkshopS A series of lighting workshops by the Indian Chapter of IALD in partnership with mondo*arc india.


26th–28th February 2016




Theatricality of Light


CSIIT School of Architecture, Secunderabad


Kunal shah (SPK Valo)


Atlantis Lighting, Beta Lighting, Defa Lighting Solutions, Lux Logics, Studio Plus Consultancy & Marketing Services, Thea Lighting

Pics: Amardeep M. Dugar

Lighting for styles of architecture Light and darkness are used to create solids and voids. The lighting scheme is divided into four scenes to describe different styles of architecture - subtle, minimal, indirect lighting representing order; highlighting natural elements and landscape to depict organic architecture; highlighting architectural, functional and structural elements; light art representing a mordernist style. Sponsor Beta Light & DEFA Solutions

Heaven on Earth The wanderer’s search for the path to heaven is defined in a dynamic lighting concept, in which the chapel is lit from the stairs. As the man moves closer to the chapel, the lighting gets brighter, and reaches a pinnacle that marks the wanderer's merger with the light, as a symbol of his inner peace. Sponsor Atlantis Lighting


A mind that doesn’t have inhibitions of right or wrong is indeed beautiful! The first thought that drove me to becoming a City Coordinator was of young minds working with tools, completely unaware of their limitations. For them, a wall-mounted luminaire wasn’t necessarily restricted to being mounted on the wall, or an indoorrated fixture wasn’t limited to indoors. This thought really materialised when I saw how beautifully each group put up the installations, redefining the tools. What surprised me the most, albeit pleasantly, was the layered and scenegraphic approach taken by them. They were not just working on creating a visual, but were creating a dynamically metamorphing structure that changes its character and relation to the space, which that brilliantly gelled with their narratives. Another interesting aspect was that the workshop brought the whole lighting community under one roof and everyone worked towards a greater good for the lighting industry. - Kunal Shah

The Students say next WORKSHOP | 07 – 09 OCT “This is the first time we are having such a hands-on workshop in our campus, and so we are all excited and enjoying the experience.” “A truly wonderful and enriching experience! The seminar gave me an insight into various aspects of lighting, be it fixtures or term. It also made me understand that lighting is an amalgamation of a ton of thoughts and design, which culminates in the installation after considering the mood and emotion which the element is meant to depict.” “A huge shout-out and thanks to IALD India for giving us a chance to be a part of this wonderful experience. We hope that this would be the beginning of many more of such initiatives and ventures.”

Urban Wilderness A harmonious contrast between the wild and the civilized is presented to show how they live with each other. The wild is depicted through the five elements of nature - air, earth, fire, water and ether, using colored light. The urban is portrayed through the busy city life of comfort living, construction and hustle with silhouettes of a city skyline and people’s activities. Sponsor Thea Lighting

SCHOOL OF PLANNING AND ARCHITECTURE NEW DELHI Day-1 FRIDAY Lecture Interactive walking tour Site recce Day-2 Saturday Team formation Site allocation Concept development Concept mock-up Installation Presentation Day-3 Sunday Site clean up CALL FOR PARTICIPATION For details, contact: Email: Phone: +91-9445549567 Web:

Natural essence & A light experience Different patterns of light are created in nature by daylight. Luminaires integrated in different sections of the trees and landscaped elements create these patterns to mimic the natural essence. Sponsor Lux Logix & Studio Plus


TECHNOLOGY / Lasvit, Milan Design Week

Restoration Man During this year’s Milan Design Week, Lasvit presented ‘Via Lucis’, a journey through unique and contemporary projects enhanced by the experience and skills of master glassmakers.


Top Left Carlo Ippolito Gola, Fondazione Serbelloni and Marta Polese, Restorer Rest of Page Lasvit worked carefully to restore the precious Bohemian crystal chandeliers, located in the grand hall and the Sala Gian Galeazzo.

Taking place at the Sale Napoleoniche of Palazzo Serbelloni, where Naopleone Bonaparte resided during his stay in Milan, the presentation saw Bonaparte’s precious Bohemian crystal chandeliers carefully restored to their former glory. The chandeliers, crafted of Bohemian crystal at the end of the 18th century, are located in the grand hall – called either the Sala Naopleonica or Sala Bonaparte – and in the smaller Sala Gian Galeazzo, with the same design but at a smaller scale. Also on show and taking inspiration from the restoration project, Lasvit worked to reinterpret the Neoclassical taste of chandeliers with a contemporary twist to produce three new chandeliers: Facet by Moritz Waldemeyet; Praha by Stanislav Libensky; and TAC/TILE by Andre Fu. The restored chandeliers are composed of 40 various components that have more than 1,000 elements and the restoration project by Lasvit required a combination of three glassmaking techniques. These included the production and replacement of hand-

cut crystal trimmings, hand-blow and cut components, as well as mold-melted and cut glass arms. The overall aim was to sustain as many original components as possible, despite traces of age such as scratches or minor damage, to preserve the original character of the chandeliers. And so, the original crystal components of the chandeliers were dismantled and shipped to Lasvit glassworks in the Czech Republic – back to the region of Bohemia, an area with rich glassmaking traditions, where the chandeliers were likely originally made in the late 1700’s – completing a historic and creative full-circle. “I was very excited when I entered the Palazzo Serbelloni and discovered the beautiful Bohemian chandeliers in an Italian palace,” Lasvit Founder and President Leon Jakimic said. “It was instantly clear that Lasvit and our master glassmakers could significantly contribute to the restoration of these extraordinary artefacts. “I have a great respect and admiration for precise craftsmanship of the past masters

and their Bohemian approach. We made ‘Bohemian Perfection’ our motto; bohemian refers both to the region and the proverbial creative and free-spirited approach. We continue to strive for perfection and precision, much like our predecessors. This philosophy translates into everything Lasvit produces. We are proud and honoured to have been given the opportunity to participate in a project of this importance. Thanks to the collaboration of the dedicated team of Fondazione Serbelloni and Lasvit’s skilful artisans, the chandeliers are now presented in their former glory.” Marta Polese, head of the restoration team in Italy, added: “I have always believed in binomial Light = Life, in all its meanings. This project combines the idea of giving back these magnificent eighteenth-century chandeliers their light and shine and of restoring a new life to the essence of the famous ‘Sala Napoleonica’ of the historic Palazzo Serbelloni. ‘Let there be light!’ never felt so accurate!”




Lighting designer duo, Lyle and Linus Lopez make their way to Frankfurt for this year’s Light + Building as special correspondents for mondo*arc india. On their return, they share their enthralling experience of the five enthusing but grueling days.

Pics: Lyle & Linus Lopez

Air India 121 to Frankfurt is full of familiar faces. We divide the greetings into different categories of familiarity. There are ‘puzzled nods’ (…do I know this guy?), ‘acquaintance nods’, ‘firm handshakes’ and ‘humorous exchanges’. Obviously, the ‘humorous exchanges’ are the people we know best, and the humour revolves around the reality that the Frankfurt Light + Building is the Mecca for the lighting industry. We’re on a pilgrimage, quite literally, to some form of ‘enlightenment’. So, “Jaana hi padega”. You have to go! This year, there is no Indian Flag flying at the Messe, which means there are no Indian exhibitors. But there are over 500 Indian visitors. We feel like we’re shouldering some strange responsibility here, one of 500 representing a nation of a billion people trailing a bit in the discovery and technology race. Consider the order of players: The largest representative of course is

Germany: the giants Osram, Zumtobel, Trilux, Erco. Along with Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria and Belgium put up commendable showings, and Spain putting a brave foot forward with an occasional sparkle in design. Germany: with its quiet confidence, disdain of competition, its sense of earnest certainty; Italy with its flamboyance, almost shrugging its Armanisuited shoulders at the world and claiming the high ground of style. Even the erstwhile East Bloc countries aren’t afraid to showcase their innovation, visibly behind the western European players, if only in numbers, but enough to show that their industrial development coefficients are close enough on the Cartesian plane to touch some design pinnacles. Of course, everybody is making hushed jokes about being terrified of the Chinese, but the humour that almost always accompanies this seems to imply that the sophisticated accents in the language of

design can only be European. Wolfgang Marzin, CEO of Messe Frankfurt, declares his happiness. The 2.3 % growth in visitors over 2014, he says, underscores ‘the significance of Light + Building as the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building services technology, as well as the positive mood in the sector and the ongoing high level of exhibitor satisfaction’. Hmmm… To us, a 2.3% increase is barely consoling, considering that the attendance in 2014 recorded an 8% increase over 2012. So is this a gentle prod to some serious introspection? Could it be that new products and developments are being disseminated differently? Could it be because of the sluggish economic growth worldwide? Is the net edging out the physical trudge through these enormous trade fairs? Is technology development and innovation hitting a plateau? Probably a combination of all. Each time, this Biennale is given a theme; this year it is, ‘Where modern spaces come


to life: digital – individual – networked’. It’s easy enough to see how this is important – our built environment is becoming ever more complex, the confluences of light and life are now understood to be far greater than we used to think – and integrating our management of light with other built systems that address safety, security and comfort is clearly a huge need. Honestly, if we wore that slogan on our tee shirt (just so we don’t forget) and raised the question at each display visited, we’d have to say like our teacher often did, that it was a good effort, but we could have done better. Given the huge horizon of LED technology development, some order must emerge from the whole chaotic vector, some thread that ties across all the various emerging technologies that has a ring of certainty and conviction, and most importantly, one that makes sense across all technology fields. While L+B 2016 dangled many interesting threads, trying to weave

them together just now would be more Gordian than Braid. There are two Alvin Toffler quotes that seem to apply here: 1) The future always comes too fast, and in the wrong order; and 2) You’ve got to keep the small things in mind while doing the big things, so that the small things happen in order.

SOME VISIBLE TRENDS In retrospect, L+B 2016 is more of a consolidation with the acceptance of LEDs as the primary engine in lighting and a large tertiary development in the efficiency, control and application segments. OLEDs are writhing by the wayside, CFLs and FTLs have patched up their differences and agreed to a common epitaph, and nobody is listening to the induction lamp’s cries of “Unfair! Unfair!” Perhaps future L+Bs will commemorate these demises fittingly, but right now nobody seems to care.

The headlong race in LED efficacy, with Watt to Lumen conversion clearly sprinting past the high hundreds mark, has somewhat abated. It is also true that the race for efficacy is attributing a huge cost to finished products. Thirdly, managing obsolescence, the rate at which outdated products will need replacement, is an enormous challenge until standards like Zhaga get much smarter and gain in acceptability. So while a quieter race still continues behind the scenes, manufacturers and designers are writing new and varied recipes for cooking up dishes with what is already in the marketplace before the stuff gets stale. Building intelligence into systems has been taken very seriously. It’s as if the huge working lifetime that LEDs offer us is now steering the industry into installations with greater levels of permanence, and the higher capital cost at which LEDs have entered our life-scape, coupled



with a greater sensitivity towards the environment are large components of the driving force. With clearer standards now in place for lifetime lumen maintenance, individual luminaires now chat with us, sharing intimate information about working hours, temperatures attained, and life expectancies. It sometimes does seem a little too smart though…like a precocious kid reciting Pi to a hundredth place. Whatever are we going to do with all this information? Easy, guy-geeks, or governments will tax it. Dimming has gotten cleverer too. In a nostalgic glance backward to the way halogens performed, manufacturers are now steering the dimming curve to better mimic the black-body locus – the color temperature of an LED now dimmed to

the last quadrant is almost a gentle amber. And yes, we can also dim lower – hybrid dimming is now using a drooping current till about 30% and then shifting to PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) for the sunset zone. Funny how things change, because we recall earlier criticisms about deep-dimming halogens in art galleries and museums just because of the amber hue and diminished colour rendition. Automation and Controls are at a crossroads. Or the advocates of huge centralized processors are going to collide with the Apostles of the Discrete. With such enormous processing and communication power in the average smartphone, smallness is going to prevail. Watch out for smaller devices, intelligent, hardworking, communicative and flexible. Discretion after

all, is the better part of Valour. Players like Xicato are now working simultaneously on two paths – a 48 V DC bus with amazing control flexibility over Bluetooth; and a new series of COBs with integral drivers and heatsinks that will run straight off a 220 V power supply. Looks do matter. We can play to the gallery about trying to save the planet, and LEED and GRIHA are constantly snipping at our energy conscience; but the new, miniscule form factor of the LED (as opposed to the clunky GLS or CFL) should be drawing new, excited promises from designers. Digital control, near-saturated color and new engineering materials can all play key roles in this new aesthetic exploration. Time we moved past frosted diffusion and miles of extrusion.


Tunable white kept shuttling between the Lab and the Living room, and not just because banks were acting antsy. The line, “Darling, lets cozy up at 1800K and a fine Chablis,” came after some droning graphs on productivity in the workplace with Tunable White and the Blue Component. Several studies had shown how introducing a larger blue component into the lighting actually helped workers stay focused and alert on the shop floor. This research about blue wavelengths suppressing melatonin secretion and keeping workers awake jousted with arguments about messing up the body’s circadian cycle, but there is no clear winner on that argument yet. What is new and interesting is the foray of tunable white into the retail space. Across the board – LED builders and luminaire

manufacturers are trying to lure the Retail, Art and Fashion worlds into romancing with tunable hues. Is honest-to-goodness colour rendition going to be a casualty in all this? It’s early days still, but anyone who’s seen that enormous blue tail on a spectroscope measuring the colorimetry of an LED is bound to ask uncomfortable questions about how an LED, which is more Lambada than lambda could actually hope to attain high values on the CIE 1931 metric. It seemed during our 2014 visit to Frankfurt that some interesting rule-bending conspiracy had been underway for some time and a shuffling of methods had resulted in a twoaxis (Ra and Rg – for Color Fidelity and Color Gamut) calculation method that the IES defined as the TM-30-15 standard. Actually,

the question being debated was: if the new light form that LEDs were producing actually made certain objects look better, well why not? Let the markets decide. So while we still don’t have a standard that everybody agrees with, we do have exciting new color delivering LEDs like the Vibrant and Artist series from Xicato and the CrispWhite from Philips. Lighting is going to take up less space than before. Xicato is pioneering a 48 V DC bus and controlling individual LEDs via Bluetooth; some of its new COBs can run off mains voltages; lighting tracks from several boutique players have shrunk to a third of their width, and Philips have joined the bandwagon for POE (Power Over Ethernet) lighting, integrating power and data onto a single backbone. Several players have packed 200 lumens or more into 30 mm dia. luminaires, and the aesthetic of small, happily, might get even smaller. While there’s a trend towards smallness, there’s also an interesting foray into motion: Kinetura, Castaldi, Flos, Forma – to name a few, have produced fixtures that shrink and grow, conceal and reveal, slide on tracks, and tilt and swivel. We can’t say whether this is another response to the enormous lifetimes that LEDs promise or whether tiny motors have just gotten tougher and more articulate. And speaking of lifetimes and permanent installs, Philips is exhibiting (again!) its subfloor LEDs glowing in patterned matrices below carpet fibre, while Simes and Brick-in-the-wall continue to offer better luminaires embedded in masonry and concrete. Finally there’s some reaction to the 50,000-hour lifetime that LEDs promise! Small steps, and it’s taking time, but embedded lighting is a fun space to watch.



For good reasons, retrofits are going to be with us for sometime. There’s such an enormous inventory of existing incandescent, halogen and metal halide spread over the world – not to mention some very successful existing luminaire designs that none of us, and that includes the manufacturers, are quite ready to say goodbye to. Giants like Philips and Osram have had their fair share of teething problems with retrofits, but the market is just too large to ignore. In fact, Philips has just launched a retrofit LED for CFLs. And there is more than a trickle of faux nostalgia as well – there are even LEDs hiding inside lookalike Edison carbonfilament bulbs!

Streetlighting needs some introspection. You’d be right if you read that as a cry in the wilderness to cut the glare. Despite the BUG numbers, night sky pollution concerns, and huge gains in optics and controls, there’s too much peeking out from under the skirt for comfort. We expected to see 3d printing hit a huge high with boutique designers. We didn’t. In the lighting industry, it seems to have disappeared behind the scenes, into quiet labs for tool and die making or layering ultra-slim lenses and optics. Come out of hiding, 3DP! There’s talent and potential for fun on the fringes of mass production, so for heavens’ sake come out to play!

With over 2500 exhibitors at the Messe, spread across 6 enormous halls, it is impossible to give all of them even a passing glance let alone a detailed review. By the fifth day, energy, patience and endurance are wearing thin. Worse, our concentration spans are addled with information overload, and our pupils are suffering dilation fatigue from staring at so much light. Most of the parties are over and done with and work crews in overalls have appeared like birds of prey. The pilgrimage is over. Hopefully, everybody’s order books are bulging. Now that would make Frankfurt L+B 2018 all the more enjoyable! linus@liriolopez.comv

WATCH OUT FOR THESE GUYS! We always make a start at Hall 1.1, where the real energy of excited, creative youth is most palpable. This is where young designers are given the opportunity to showcase their creations. In the run up to the Messe, competition design entries are invited from various colleges and studios, and Hall 1.1 is where the best entries are displayed. We remember doing some whiplash double takes at the previous L+Bs, enjoying the earnest enthusiasm with which each designer explained his concept. It’s always been a revelation, observing how the newest materials and technologies: composites, copolymers or nano-aggregates, so quickly find their way into the products these youngsters turn out. Meet Bart Baumann, who still keeps faith with OLEDs. ‘Gaya’ is beautiful; making optimal use of a stanchion with a built-in power bus, which can also be mounted horizontally. A minimal mechanism of slides, pivots and clamps allows you to use it as a task light, uplight, track light – positioning each light component where you need it, or even to dim it. And Simon Junge; product designer, architect and proud single parent of ‘.ito’. This is someone having real fun with design. Simon sees the .ito as ‘material efficiency, stability and flexibility in a single form.’ Every fitting in the .ito series can be shaped individually due to a special metal core inside the external cable coating. The flexible power lead trails seamlessly from the point the metal core ends, with no joint or change in dimension. ‘.Ito can be changed and reshaped at any time, offering a wide range of applications and uses combined with the latest LED technology’.


Star Pics: Lyle & Linus Lopez


Luminale is an internationally renowned event, held at the same time as Light + Building, showcasing installations and art, all using light as a medium. Lyle and Linus Lopez share their experience as they wander around on a cold Frankfurt night, discovering fascinating works across the city. Messe Frankfurt is 60% owned by the city of Frankfurt and 40% by the state of Hesse. Each year, the city plays host to hordes of visitors who come for the various exhibitions, cultural events and conferences; and Light + Building is one of the largest events. Given the ratio of visitor influx, to Frankfurt’s actual resident population, it’s no wonder there’s a huge crosscurrent between the events in the Messe and the city itself. An enthralling part of the L+B program actually begins at the end of the day when the fairground is closed and various venues in the city come to life with the Luminale. If you are going to let those aching feet or the temptation of the evening parties keep you away from this light-fest action outside, that’s a bad decision! So pick up the little yellow guide booklet, available at every information desk, and

board the Luminale tram outside the Messe (it’s free - included in the price of your Messe ticket), which will trundle around the city, stopping at each of the festival venues. This is where groups of serious youngsters – artists, designers, students, celebrities - turn themselves loose on the city either with corporate sponsorships or better, with tight budgets and huge doses of coffee and adrenaline. It’s like an underground movement, taking over public parks, the riverside, station concourses, deserted buildings, churches (even cloisters!) and squares for a few hours each day, turning out some amazing installations with light. You will be rubbing shoulders with hordes of Frankfurters, and in the way that Germans wont to do, this traipsing around the city to view the Luminale installations is something they all take very seriously.

There are youngsters on bicycles, senior citizens clutching pamphlets with arcane explanations, all hatted, mufflered and grey-coated, lugging all manners of cameras and accessories, and queuing up patiently for those exhibits with controlled entries. Right in front of the tram stop at the Messe is ‘Star’ designed by Munich based artist Sigi Bussingerin, and sponsored by Osram. It is intended to depict the expanding universe in which new stars constantly ‘arise and elapse,’ in the course of the 14 billion years since the universe came into being after the Big Bang. It’s a startling thing to see it lying there glowing on the grass right in front of the tram line, pretty much like a hot, iridescent fragment of an exploding Supernova. We find ourselves at the Naxoshalle-Willy Praml Center, an old factory in the heart of the city, close to the Merianplatz. It’s






an interesting work-in-progress, with a carefully preserved look of dereliction, slowly reinventing itself as a vibrant center for art-on-the-edge. It is crowded. Beer is on sale at a bar at one end that seems almost camouflaged. One area is cordoned off for a live, visual concert, by J Schmidt and J Schafer from Berlin, titled ‘On the Overgrown Path’. Even as the artist ‘paints’ on his screen, a computer collages and animates the stroke sequences to form characters that keep tempo and dance to an abstract music track playing in the background. Further on, a young, lightly (and strangely) clad model sits patiently in proximity to what looks like fluorescent tubes strung together in parallel, flexible rows. This is ‘Lys’, an interactive installation that is supposed to ‘part and make way’ as you move through it. But Christian Tielmann, the artist and student of engineering at Darmstadt is disconsolate, because it isn’t working. The lights have come on, the model is ready, the sensors are live but the motors won’t oblige. In the foreground is a large space heater. We ask if the heaters are meant to keep the errant motors warm. “Nein,” he says, finally smiling, “the model, she is feeling the cold”. ‘Fusion’, created by Tatjana Busch with the soundtrack composed by Julius Busch, ‘is a synthesis of form, colour, movement, sound and light’. A slowly rotating mass of highly reflective material, folded in a most complex form reflects light from two sets of DMX controlled projectors onto two right-angled walls. Meandering Auroralike light shapes slowly appear, twirl and combine, transforming into something new, only to then change again the next moment and dissolve. ‘The viewer becomes part of a flowing process... It is the story of ‘becoming and passing away’, the Panta Rhei of ancient Greece and the liquid space of the current era’. ‘Kaleidoscope’, by three lighting design firms, Dinnebier+Blieske, Lichtvision and L-Plan Lichtplanung, from Berlin have used layers of translucent sheet material, stretched taut to reveal three cubes in space. They reflect the harmonious coexistence of the three lighting design offices. ‘Three offices, three boxes, and three titles: ‘Eyes Only‘ – ‘Tilda magentlos diffuriosa’ – ‘Berühren erlaubt’ (Please Touch)’. ‘Alive and Analogue’, by Ingo Wendt, is a projection of a carpet of sliding bubbles, sliding through a confined glass sandwich. Ingo sees this ‘as an antithesis to the many digital projections. It is a testament to the high quality of supposedly less complex principles and tries to show the higher



value of the analogue world. The dynamics of moving bubbles and colours depict the continuous complex processes that take place within living cells. Scattered around the shop floor are other installations; ‘Naufrago’, by Marjorie Chau is a projected light pattern that varies with the amplitude and proximity of a figure seated on a swing opposite; in ‘The Spanning Tree’ Carlos de Abreu has used fluorescent tubes to construct a space frame. In spite of the fragility of the thin tubular members, the structure actually spans the width of the shop floor. At the Kunstlerhaus Mousonturm, ‘Grid’, a huge work by visual artist Christopher Bauder and musician and composer Robert Henke is a large audio-visual live performance

Naufrago Pic: Jochen Gunther

combining animated lighting interacting with live electronic music. Henke’s music animates the lighting in a huge matrix of angular geometry suspended from the ceiling. The whole assembly syncs the motion of the lighting and the spatial motion of the grid itself quite impressively. Definitely one of the most visited, and apparently well-worth the 10-Euro entrance fee. A huge queue has formed outside St. Katharinenkirche, at Hauptwache in the heart of Frankfurt, where the artist duo Detlef Hartung and Georg Trenz have produced yet another of their typographically-driven works, ‘Light Diffraction’ through which they try to bring location, light, text and the visitor into dialogue. The 360-degree projection is

completely immersive, transforming the enormous volume of the church into a zone of power and enforced stillness, despite the cascade of light and text all around. The most enjoyable aspect of the Luminale is how the events surprise you with the way they suddenly pop up in sometimesunexpected parts of the city. It’s a great feeling, almost like some great muse of Poetic Light picked up all the seriousness of the Messe - the debates about energy and digital networks the fragments of Lumen, Watt and Spectra – blew onto it in the palm of her hand, and sprinkled it over the city. And in beautiful context, as we walk towards the U-bahn station, this sign on a building façade: the future will be confusing.



L+B THE BRANDS SPEAK 13-18 March, 2016 Frankfurt, Germany Light + Building once again confirmed its position as the leading tradeshow for lighting technology, setting new records in the number of visitors, exhibitors and area occupied. 2,589 exhibitors from 55 countries launched new products and a total of

216,000 trade visitors from 160 countries, attended the event. International presence also rose in comparison with the previous event with 67% of exhibitors and 49% of visitors coming from outside Germany. The best-represented visitor nations after

Germany were Italy, The Netherlands, France, UK and China. Considerable growth was also noted in visitors from Spain, Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, India, Morocco and Iran.

Pics: Paul Ott

XAL Austrian lighting manufacturer XAL showed what technical lighting can deliver today: rooms were staged according to respective user needs in a smart, networked, miniaturised, and flexible way. The almost 800m2 XAL stand was a striking, seven-metre high monolith of matt black Alucobond. Some 428 circular openings served as a showcase and allowed glimpses into the future of lighting. Oversized, almost surreal entrance doors made from oak signalled openness and hospitality, and at the same timerecalled the Austrian roots of the company. “We wanted to create a space in which innovations and their potential can be felt. This calls for areas where you can interact with these innovations,” said Michael Engel, manager at XAL, about the design of the stand.


TARGETTI Color Wheels is a light art installation designed by lighting designers, Aleksandra Stratimirovic and Athanassios Danilof. Created entirely in the Targetti lab using LED strips of its brand Duralamp, Color Wheels draws inspiration from the various attempts through history to visually organise and make sense of colour. Artists, scientists and scholars have developed different theories

and approaches to understand and categorise colour. An emblematic form of this process has been the colour wheel and its many interpretations. Starting from the premise that we need to continue to investigate the sensory and perceptive aspect of colour, the two lighting designers wanted to revisit this research process using the latest lighting technology

available with Targetti and Duralamp technical support. Represented by three wheels, each one programmed with different lighting scenarios, Color Wheels is not only a tribute to the history of the theory of colours but also aspires to become a real point of sensory investigation into themes connected to light and colour.

erco The ERCO booth centred around LED technology and its breakthrough in architectural lighting. Adopting a linear black and white aesthetic, it reflected the polarity between technology and design. A floor graphic of an LED PCB made up of binary code created a visual link between the sections. The latest generation of ERCO lighting solutions was presented on display tables, while a replica mock-up room gave visitors the chance to see the brilliance, precision and efficiency of ERCO LED solutions for themselves. Outside of the booth ERCO ran a tongue-in-cheek survey asking trade visitors about their personal project preferences. More than 35,000 people responded, voting for segments including work, culture, shop and community.

PROLICHT To illustrate the fact that Prolicht is a true master of bespoke lighting solutions it decided to give every visitor the chance to experience what individualised production in record time actually means. Visitors configured the ALBERT fair-bag, designed in collaboration with design-studio GLÜXWERK,

live at the booth and could then follow the actual manufacturing process. To Prolicht, personal relationships with business partners truly matter. To ensure the best possible experience for its guests the booth covered a public space as well as an exclusive area for registered guests.

In alpine–chic atmosphere, guests were indulged in typical Tyrolean hospitality. The experience was topped-off with detailed technical presentation of our most recently developed products.



COOLEDGE ‘Materialising light’ was the topic at Cooledge roundtable that included ten architects and designers from North America and Europe, along with mondo*arc editor Paul James. Led by architect and designer Jean Koeppel, the conversation brought forward different ideas about what might be possible if light were more like a fabric and what that might mean for the industry. Sophia Klees from jackbenimble noted that “Architects don’t want to see any luminaires.” Florence Lam and Rohit Manudhane, both of Arup, followed Klees’ insight with a description of a recently completed shop in New York City that has

no luminaires. Instead, Cooledge TILE embedded in the walls provides all the necessary illumination for the space. Though it’s clear from the discussion that designers have different perspectives on how a more fabric-like light might be integrated with architecture, there was universal excitement at the prospect of working with light in a different form and the ideas that could be realised. According to Koeppel: “Thinking about a new modality of light and the freedom of form that a more material-like light gives creatives, stands to fundamentally change the lighting industry.”

building meaningful relationships to foster the visible success of our members.” This carefully and intelligently crafted participation included an exhibition stand in the high transit foyer of Hall 4.1, the Designers Lounge, the only non-commercial space in the exhibition prepared to welcome colleagues under an inspiring

atmosphere and next door to that a conference room where the IALD Lighting Perspectives program took place; with twelve international speakers imparting their knowledge. The IALD Designer’s Lounge took an important role as the place for members and non-members to gather and spend time under a unique luminous atmosphere. Designers stopped to take moments of relaxation; members of allied organisations conducted meetings there; a couple of parties where held with greater than expected turnout on both days; while the visual stimulus was delivered by Light Artist Liz West. She used complementary colours on the two opposing walls allowing the light to blend midway. The piece was named Complimentary Saturation. Exenia Lumenpluse supported the Conference and Designers Lounge and two drinks receptions in the space.

IALD DESIGNERS LOUNGE Victor Palacio current president of IALD reflects on the role that IALD is playing in the lighting industry after his visit to Light+Building 2016, Frankfurt, Germany. “IALD has delivered a clear and relevant message about raising the profile of the profession, developing the global community of lighting designers and

XICATO Xicato used a superhero theme as a fun way to drive home its educational message. Xicato products are weapons developed by Xicato Man and Xicato Woman to defeat the Light Destroyers, who represent specific aspects of bad lighting: The Changeling (poor colour consistency), The Gray Lady (poor colour rendering), Dr Flicker (bad dimming) etc. An informative comic book told the story. The booth, designed in collaboration with Light Collective, was from reused shipping containers, was Xicato Man’s headquarters – filled with fun graphics, but deep content. Visitors could see and manipulate lighting and its effects. It also made use of Factorylux red enamel pendants, cage pendants and bulkheads. Industry experts taught seminars on TM-30, Bluetooth control, museum lighting, and more.


lamp lighting #dearlight When Lamp Lighting asked creative consultants Light Collective to come up with a communal activity to take place on their stand every afternoon, they imagined it would be a sedate and relaxing affair. Little did Sharon Stammers and Martin Lupton know that this Spanish company and their designer friends really like to party. Initially Light Collective struggled to find an idea that would work and enable visitors to the stand to participate in something that would grow over the course of five days but after taking inspiration from the ‘Hold to Light’ cards dating from the 1900’s, they had a plan. Stammers and Lupton asked each visitor

to the Lamp Lighting stand to help them create a communal love letter to the very thing that unites us all in this industry - Light. Stammers explained: “We know that everybody who has a relationship with light understands that it is a medium that creates passion, inspires dedication and forges a life long commitment. We therefore invited 250 lighting designers to share the reason that they love light with us and with their colleagues from around the world. #DearLight also provided participants with a chance to tell Light itself what it meant to them.” Each phase was then cut from card using

cutting machines and the phrases were displayed together on the main wall of the Lamp Lighting stand. The cards were illuminated with an adjustable gooseneck LED and the cut out created a gobo effect on the wall. Lupton commented: “The answers were surprisingly funny, beautiful and moving. The combined result at the end of Light+Building 2016 was a collective industry answer to the question ‘#DearLight, I love you because...’ with each response being part of a collaborative love letter to light.”



L+B A DECOR REVIEW March 13-18 2016, Frankfurt, Germany Seeing light, Understanding light! A look at the power of light In the midst of Light+Building, the Federation of International Lighting Designers (FILD) hosted a seminar on seeing and understanding light. Light dictates our everyday life, can influence our emotions and well-being both positively and negatively. The seminar discussed the importance of understanding the relationships between human beings and light in order to understand light itself. The seminar took place with the aim of allowing designers to better integrate light into planning concepts. Beginning with an introduction into LED in interior design, the seminar went on to see several lighting designers discuss the capabilities of light in defining identity in design, and how the emotional power of light can be attributed to the success of businesses.


Bell+ Darø

Patera Louis Poulsen

Formosa David Trubridge

Designed by Thomas Holst Madsen, Bell+ can be tilted in two directions and rotate 360˚, with a balanced aluminium shade that rests on an oak bar. The distribution of light is essential to the design, which is made possible through the lighting effects generated through the sides and top of the product.

Designed by Øivind Slaatto, Patera is now available in three sizes, giving architects and designers freedom to furnish larger rooms with a more uniform expression. Made of synthetic material, the fixture has a simple suspension system and angled apertures so the light distribution is primarily downwards.

Formosa is derived from the structure of a microscopic diatom, a small organism that lives in water. Made from bamboo plywood and polyethylene felt from recycled water bottles, Formosa was designed to be a bright task light to sit over a table or desk. There are five LED light sources and the product is available in one size.








1. Spider Studio Italia Design

2. Shanghai Kinetura

3. Non So Knikerboker

Spider can be hung individually or arranged in a cluster, like spiders crawling up the wall or across the ceiling to drop down in a group or singularly. Performing a number of lighting effects, each lighting body can be oriented to shine light where it is most required, with details finishing off the range.

Focusing on organic and humancentric lighting, Shanghai is Kinetura’s first metamorphic chandelier. It transforms from a cylinder, shining up and downward to an open lantern spreading its light around. Shanghai has an integrated eye that detects movement so it can respond to people passing by.

As part of Knikerboker’s new lighting line, Non So is inspired by what’s essential and indefinable. Non So evokes a sensation, a charming impression that can’t be clearly defined. A customisable wall or ceiling lamp, Non So’s bronze outer leaf with a white inside is available in various colours to be combined at will.

4. Palm Masiero

5. Loop Ingo Maurer

6. Reverb Zava

Divided into three theme-based areas, Masiero’s stand at Light+Building featured a business area with a composition of Palm LED appliques in fan or fish-scale shapes. The Palm design has a white metal frame covered in a choice of four wood essences ranging from light oak to black, with silver veining and gold or silver leaf finish.

Loop combines the unique beauty of the incandescent lamp with cutting-edge LED technology. It is slender and light, made of a stainless steel wire, brass, aluminium and plastic. The LED spot swivels through 360˚ on a horizontal axis, while the rod at the cooling device is a touch sensor to switch Loop on or off.

The essential, severe lines of the past are reflected in Reverb - a table lamp collection, which takes its inspiration from the old-fashioned carbide lantern. With the appearance of a small, illuminated satellite dish, Reverb projects its light into space, bathing the surrounding area in a pleasantly warm glow.









1. Fractal Brand van Egmond

2. Base Cover Plumen

3. Castle B.lux

Fractal connects to the brain’s instinct to recognise patterns in the opaque. The fractal is a mathematical phenomenon that exhibits a repeating pattern at every scale. The organised chaos of reflecting elements of Fractal disperse the light in all directions, with finishes in stainless steel, red copper, brass, black or white.

Dressed to impress, Plumen's Base Cover is the new accessory designed to match the Plumen lamp with any commonly-used lamp holders. Made from spun metal, Base Cover is available in brass, chrome and white. The cover simply slips over the ballast of any Plumen lamp to give the fixture an instant update.

In collaboration with Madrid-based Stone Designs, Castle is available in suspension and ceiling versions. The suspension version allows for multiple lamps to be installed together in original arrangements. The shade coupling is made possible with the serrated design of its shade, evoking a castle tower and giving it its name.

4. Muffin Brokis

5. Albero Catellani & Smith

6. mrs.Q Jacco Maris

Muffin lamps are puffy, round shapes, with a combination of traditional handblown tinted glass, oak and gentle light that fills any space with a special aura. The collection comprises floor, ceiling and table versions that can be fitted with a wooden shade as well as glass shades in grey, brown and violet hues.

As part of Catellani & Smith’s collection of indoor lamps suitable for outdoor installation, Albero is a standing lamp made with a waxed rough iron base and stalk with 36 branches mouldable to different shapes. Albero’s branches are available in natural brass, aluminium, nickel, and matte satin nickel.

This distinctive floor lamp with a characteristic leather finish features a folded leather shade with a timeless, organic look. Combined with the carefully designed metal stand, mrs.Q characterises the mixture of raw elegance and is also available in complete leather and as a floor and wall lamp.

Tel 44 ( 0 ) 208 348 9003 Web email

Bridge number 5, Amsterdam Lighting design by lichtontwerpers Amsterdam light festival 2014

3D LED Flex 40 IP65 - Modular, 3D flexible LED linear lighting system. Lensed version with anti-glare snoots, custom colour paint finish and custom height brackets.

Design by

Mondo August 2015 half page.indd 1

04/08/2015 17:50:05



David Morgan selects his top ten discoveries among the products on show at this year’s Light + Building.

l+B 10 of the best xpress Casambi Casambi introduced its new wireless wall controller Xpress as a further development of its Bluetooth low energy based lighting control system that I reviewed in the last issue of mondo*arc. The wall controller functions are configured via the Casmabi app to allow a wide range of dimming, colour change and switching options. The range is up to 60-metres and it has a magnetic fixing to a steel wall plate so it can be moved around as required. The only component now missing (for the UK) is a Casambi enabled grid dimmer – hopefully that will be included in the list of new developments for Light+Building 2018.

OLED LIGHTING PANELS LG DISPLAY LG Display showed off a variety of its flexible and rigid OLED lighting panels. The technology has been developed and used in TV and smartphone applications but definitely has uses in lighting as well. The stand presented a variety of OLED applications many integrated into furniture or surfaces. A 300mm x 300mm flexible panel was the most interesting product and was the that was shown in an attractive pendant display. It is understood that this size is still at the prototype stage and the only sizes in production are 200mm x 50mm and 406mm x 50mm. LG Display seem to be one of the few companies who have actually put thin flexible OLED lighting panels into production.

miniature wall wash reflector BARTENBACH The R&D division of Bartenbach, the highly innovative Austrian lighting design and lighting technology company, showed a new miniature wall wash reflector. The lit effect was very even and smooth with minimal intrusion into the space from the tiny vacuum metalised moulded reflectors. Bartenbach has an interesting business model whereby it designs and develops high performance lighting components including lenses and reflectors but does not make or sell luminaires or lighting components. These optics designs are licensed to manufacturing partners who produce and sell them to luminaire manufacturers for incorporation into their designs.

tua o/M I was directed towards the O / M stand by Daniel Blaker, creative director of Nulty+. This Portuguese manufacturer was exhibiting for the first time at Light+Building and showed a number of luminaires with innovative optics, some developed by Bartenbach. The most interesting product on show was the Tua LED bollard luminaire designed with architect Eduardo Souto de Moura for the Tua dam project in Portugal. Tua produces a very wide and even distribution via a custom designed asymmetric reflector optic. A series of post heights are available to light areas of different sizes. The optic creates almost no glare despite its wide area of illumination.

tri r led brand toshiba materials Toshiba Materials introduced their new LED array brand, TRI R, at the show. The arrays are based on a purple pump LED with tri phosphor coating to produce a full spectrum white light. This approach produces a more continuous spectrum than most white light LEDs that use a blue LED with a bi colour phosphor with resulting strong peaks and troughs in the spectral output. The quality of light is certainly very attractive and natural and I am sure there will be many applications in museum, gallery and perhaps medical lighting where these LED light sources will be very useful.


lys range Baltensweiler


This 60 year old Swiss lighting company that manufactures its own mechanical parts in house produces delightfully individual designs for architectural interior applications. This year was no exception and the LYS range was the stand out design. The range includes pendants, wall mounts, floor lights and desk lights incorporating single or multiple light engines. The light engine is mounted on an aluminium heat sink perforated to increase surface area with a random drilled hole pattern reminiscent of a lotus seed head that gives the range it’s identity. The LED optics combine a narrow beam lens with an outer opal diffusing layer giving both a gently glowing element and useful task lighting output.

SGM, the Danish manufacturer of moving head lights, introduced a new range of IP 66 rated luminaires for permanent installation in extreme outdoor conditions. The display at the show was quite compelling with the luminaires going through their routines under sprays of water. The range includes a variety of profile spots, projectors, wash lights and floods. The IP 66 rating and integrated thermal and humidity control system allows the use of entertainment lighting equipment for permanent use in exterior architectural projects.

KONA ERCO The vast Erco stand was, as always, both impressive and somewhat daunting in scale. The new ERCO Kona exterior range is a beautifully detailed series of LED projectors, flood lights and wall washers. With three sizes in the range, a wide range of light distributions and power consumption from 18W up to 96W this range can illuminate almost any size of project. The sleek inverted cone profile and neatly tucked away knuckle joint combined with almost no visible screw fixings all helped to project the sophisticated ERCO brand values very effectively.


LIF MODULAR RANGE SELUX The new Selux LIF modular range is a cylindrical modular system where a wide variety of light engines, optical controllers and other elements can be put together in multiple combinations for exterior amenity lighting. The lighting applications include façade lighting, accent lighting and general area lighting. The range includes various post heights and also decorative coloured light details.

VS showcased a concept presentation of laser powered lighting as a possible new light source. The demonstration appeared to show a blue laser coupled with a remote phosphor producing a very narrow, high intensity beam of white light. This high power beam of light would then need to be transmitted to multiple end points via fibre optics taking us back to similar ideas such as the Sulphur lamp in the early 1990’s. Possible uses illustrated were based on the traditional fibre optic lighting applications including swimming pool lighting, tunnel lighting, heavy industrial applications and centralised building lighting with a single light source in the basement like a central heating boiler. VS also showed a video projector powered by the laser light source. This produced high light levels with very long light source life and high resolution thus opening up all kinds of architectural lighting applications for video projectors.

David Morgan runs David Morgan Associates, a London-based international design consultancy specialising in luminaire design and development and is also MD of Radiant Architectural Lighting. +44 ( 0) 20 8340 4009 © David Morgan Associates 2014

event calendar

Melbourne Indesign 12-13 August Melbourne, Australia

IDSA Intl’ Conference 2016 17-20 August Detroit, USA

Design District 1-13 June Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Guangzhou Intl Lighting Exhibition 9-12 June Guangzhou, China

Aldabra............................................... 21 Anglepoise......................................... 11 darc awards................................... 36-37

Foscarini........................................... 168 GM Modular......................................... 9 Lasvit..................................................... 7

Maison et Objet 2-6 September Paris, France

Ambiente Indian - Heimtextil 22-24 June New Delhi, India


ICFF Miami 5-6 October Miami, USA

Formex 24-27 August Älvsjö, Sweden

Art Basel 16-19 June Basel, Switzerland

PLD-C............................................... 123 Radiant............................................. 159 Serenity............................................. 159

Light India 5-7 October New Delhi, India

The Big 5 Contruct 28-30 September Mumbai, India

North Modern 18-20 August Copenhagen, Denmark

FOAID - Festival of Architecture & Interior Design 23-24 September Mumbai, India

London Design Festival 17-25 September London, UK

darc night 15 September London, UK

Design Miami/Basel 14-19 June Basel, Switzerland


InterLumi 6-8 July Panama

London Festival of Architecture 1-30 June London, UK

Simes................................................ 167 vis-à-vis.............................................. 4-5 Wibre.................................................. 19

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Orgatec 25-29 October Cologne, Germany

Downtown Design 25-28 October Dubai, UAE

ET Acetech 21-23 October Bangalore, India

Index 13-16 October Mumbai, India

Frieze London 6-9 October London, UK

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When the sun shines over Archcult’16. Winner, Archcult’16 Photography Competition Vineel Patnana Student, NIT Tiruchirappalli

Bright solids and voids

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