How do lighting and architecture interact?
Light, lighting and architecture share an almost transcendental relationship. Light brings all architectural dimensions to life and acts like a fourth dimension of architecture itself. A legend in his own time and even today, Le Corbusier mentioned in his book “Vers une architecture”: “Architecture is a learned game, correct and magnificent, of forms assembled in the light”. This quote serves as my daily inspiration and speaks volumes about the importance of light in my projects. For me, if architecture is frozen music, then light is what thaws it, by setting a rhythm which may sometimes be smooth and serene; or sometimes be edgy and avant-garde.
How do you see the evolution of smart lighting?
I definitely want to see smart lighting technologies evolve further to bring in much more sustainable, cost effective, flexible and efficient lighting solutions. The evolution of power over ethernet technologies has eradicated the need for conventional electrical power cabling. It may not be feasible at the moment to adopt it everywhere, but I would love to see the day when light fixtures require no more than a simple “plug and play” type of installation within their designated locations. No drivers, no cables, nothing but an on/off master switch.
Which three of your projects are career highlights?
The Sofitel Dubai Downtown was one of my first lighting projects, in 2014, so it has special meaning. Also, it was awarded “Best Hospitality Lighting Project of The Year” during the Light Middle East Awards organized by Messe Frankfurt.
I am also proud of the ADEC schools in Abu Dhabi, which are part of Abu Dhabi Education Council’s ambitious program for future expansion of schools – various phases covered around 14 different schools. When you design lighting for education, the satisfaction is immense; somehow more than with other project types! We were involved in all aspects: architecture, lighting design, MEP & sustainability services infrastructure.
Finally I would choose My City Center mall in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, which opened to the public last summer. Being in Masdar City, there were strict sustainability criteria for architectural and lighting design, notably reducing light pollution and keeping the lighting power densities low. We achieved very good sustainability ratings without compromising anywhere on the design and build quality.