Why is light so important in projects and for you personally?
I’ve seen what a difference both good and bad lighting can make to a place and the people using it. We are all familiar with the concept of retail therapy and detoxing, but maybe we would benefit more from light therapy or light nutrition. Personally, I really enjoy exploring how light can make people happier and healthier.
Have you seen an evolution in the way architects integrate light into their work?
Yes, there’s been a steady evolution, and lighting design is now more widely recognized than 15 years ago. When people see the complexity and benefits of good lighting design, they recognize it as a specialist discipline, and they engage more. This evolution and increased engagement is likely to continue – if not speed up – in the coming years, with the diverse design opportunities and benefits presented by smart lighting systems expanding the role of lighting designers.
Of all your projects which three stand out?
1-The O2 Arena, Dublin – (now the 3Arena)
This is one of my early but all-time favorite projects for a whole bunch of reasons: the client, the nature of the project, the range of technical challenges that were there, and some of the other members of the design team.
2-The Olympic Park, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
When you’re working on a project that will be the ‘shop window’ of the most-viewed event in the world, there are a wide range of requirements to tackle. Not least are the technical challenges coming from the size of the project and its required resilience, finding the right solutions to create a unique atmosphere - in this case a carnival-inspired one - and accommodating the ever more demanding lighting needs of HD television broadcasting.
3- The Al Janoub Stadium, Al Wakrah, Qatar
Built for the 2022 Football World Cup in Qatar, and taking a dramatic pleated form, the Al Janoub Stadium is inspired by the rich heritage of Qatar and the Al Wakrah region, with its timeless characteristics of simplicity, solidity, space and light.