entrance to The Municipal with statement stretwork chandelier in the centre

    Part 87: harnessing the use of light for public areas

    1024 784 Pauline Brettell

    Public spaces are the first areas guests are exposed to, so expectations need to be met from the outset to craft the desired emotional responses. We caught up with hospitality lighting experts Northern Lights to uncover what goes in to creating a successful lighting scheme for public spaces…

    When it comes to lighting requirements, every hotel is different. The lighting scheme needs to be expertly tailored to suit the hotel’s unique demands and architecture.

    lobby at Oatlands Park hotel with statement chandelier by Northern Lights

    Image caption: Oatlands Park Hotel | Image credit: Northern Lights

    A unique experience
    The hotel foyer or lobby instantly symbolises the level of quality the hotel sets out to deliver. Bespoke lighting is commissioned to set the tone and deliver a unique experience, incorporating exquisite materials such as glass, crystal and alabaster and often complex structures and shapes. Lobby lighting plays an integral part in reinforcing the hotel brand’s concept and appeal, and making guests feel instantly welcomed and positive about their stay. Buildings that benefit from vaulted ceilings and large open spaces can accommodate dramatic, large-scale lighting solutions that set the tone for a luxurious and unique experience.

    A bespoke statement light developed by Northern Lights turns the central pillar into an experiential focal point at Hilton London Croydon

    Image caption: Hilton London Croydon | Image credit: Northern Lights

    Maintaining the concept
    “Statement lighting within public areas provides an opportunity for the operator and designer to originate and realise designs which can harmonise with the aesthetic of the space. We’re able to help our clients achieve a level of consistency within such unique pieces through a variety of techniques,” explained Michael Jackson, Head of Design at Northern Lights.

    “We have an extensive catalogue of finishes and often create custom finishes to match other elements in the scheme. From hand-applied artisan patinas to matching to project-specific RAL colours, we have the ability to replicate colours and finishes in various materials,” continued Jackson. ” This enables a homogenous coordination of design elements across the interior scheme, allowing hotels to achieve brand consistency. This can also be achieved through material and shade selection, shapes, detailing and trims. These techniques enable designers to develop uniqueness throughout the lighting scheme whilst retaining a design approach that connects the different public area spaces.”

    natural light in central atrium of Municipal Liverpool

    Image caption: Municipal Liverpool | Image credit: Northern Lights

    Incorporate natural light
    Incorporating natural light sources into the overall lighting scheme requires careful attention to detail. How and where light spills into the different areas at different times of the day impacts how the rest of the lighting needs to be approached. Considering colour temperature and even distribution of all lighting sources allows control over how the spaces are perceived and used by guests throughout their stay.

    Adapting to multi-function layouts
    Rigid, defined spaces separating lobby, reception, bar and relaxing areas are evolving into more open, multi-functional spaces. Lighting controls allow hotel staff to adjust or set lighting to fit with the different uses at different times of day. For example, using cooler lighting and maximising natural daylight from skylights and windows is ideal for breakfast, where more intimate, warmer lighting can be used along with dimming controls later in the day to encourage guests to relax in the bar, restaurant or lounge areas.

    Corridors leading to the spa at Sopwell House

    Image caption: Sopwell House | Image credit: Michael Franke

    Hallway lighting
    Creating illuminated pathways promotes spatial awareness of the hotel as guests navigate through corridors that connect each part of the building. Wall lighting and lamps in these areas create a sense of comfort and connection. These spaces need to balance, providing enough light in darker hallways where no natural light is present, with aesthetic and emotional layers to maintain the overall ambience and feel of the hotel.

    Invest in quality
    Functionality must go together with visual appeal in every area of the hotel. Material choices and design integrity are equally as important as aesthetics when designing lighting for high-demand hospitality settings. Using robust, durable materials selected specifically for hotels will ensure longevity. Designs can be approached in a way that makes them easy to clean, maintain, and parts to be repaired or replaced; an important factor for hotel operators that can sometimes be overlooked.

    suspended square lighting design by Northern Lights above a table in the entrance to The Municipal

    Image caption: the Municipal | Image credit: Northern Lights

    Balance lighting functions
    Task lighting is essential for hotel staff to carry out functional tasks, such as the reception area, or reading corners for guests to relax. Task lighting is often associated with spotlights and other minimal functional lighting solutions. However desk lamps and hanging pendants with considered brightness levels can provide functionality with additional visual appeal. Ambient lighting provides the primary source of light for public spaces through a mixture of chandeliers, pendants and wall lights, adding depth, warmth and the core visual appeal. Accent lighting is used to draw focus to architectural details, décor and art pieces, celebrating beauty within. Layering of these lighting types and incorporating both diffused and directional solutions creates balanced, harmonious lighting scheme.

    Northern Lights is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: Northern Lights

    Kimpton Fitzroy reception lounge media

    Part 85: reusable materials in hotel lighting

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn

    As part of Hotel Designs’ deep dive into all things sustainability we talked to Michael Mulhall from Dernier & Hamlyn who shared his experience of how its clients are working with them to develop innovative hotel lighting by reusing bespoke light fittings…

    It wasn’t long ago that the vast majority of interior designers operating in the luxury hospitality or residential space would have shunned the idea of reusing high-end bespoke chandeliers and pendants. But this is no longer the case and is driven by a range of imperatives and requirements.

    Undoubtedly, the importance of embracing sustainability and environmental stewardship in the business world is gaining increasing traction. Nowhere is this trend more apparent than in the fields of design and hospitality. As a result, designers are becoming more conscious of the sources of the products they acquire for their projects and are prioritising transparency and accountability when communicating with their clients. Furthermore, they are proactively seeking ways to diminish the carbon footprint generated by their projects from inception to completion. These positive actions collectively signify a significant stride in the right direction.

    However as Mark Tremlett of Naturalmat said in a recent article on Hotel Designs, the industry must be wary of greenwashing and instead must look at ways that can contribute to achieving the circular economy we aspire to, where wastage is kept to an absolute minimum.

    With bespoke lighting this can be a relatively easy endeavour. Whether it’s custom designed chandeliers, pendants, wall lights or table lamps they are invariably made from long lasting materials and manufactured in styles designed to stand the test of time. Usually, it is more than just about practical illumination and is at least decorative and quite often a piece of art. And very often it makes reference to a site’s history, geography, or environs. So, when it comes to updating its design story the lighting will frequently remain relevant.

    However, this doesn’t imply that designers won’t seek to imprint their own influence upon the unique lighting that already exists. They might introduce novel elements, install it in unconventional manners, simplify its design, or enhance it based on the overarching narrative.

    Reusing or repurposing bespoke lighting can also contribute significantly to carbon neutrality by removing the need to source new materials and cutting the miles that products need to travel to get them to site because they are already there.

    kimpton fitzroy lift lobby - close up of chandelier

    Image credit: IHG

    A great example of this approach is our work for Tara Bernerd & Partners at the Kimpton Fitzroy hotel in Bloomsbury. We were asked to update light fittings and give them a contemporary feel. We revisited chandeliers that our team had made almost forty years before and gave them a new identity. 12 large drape and bag crystal chandeliers that we had installed throughout the hotel’s public areas in the 1980s were updated both aesthetically and technically. To undertake this specialist work, the chandeliers were removed from the hotel and taken to our factory where the crystal was meticulously cleaned, the chandeliers’ metalwork restored and the wiring updated to meet regulatory requirements. The chandeliers were then rehung in clusters to give a more current and playful twist.

    In the case of the Standard Hotel London, Shawn Hausman Design (SHD) wanted to express individuality and sourced vintage fittings from around the world across a range of design eras using a variety of materials to accentuate the distinctiveness of the hotel’s public areas and bedrooms. Our team rewired and restored hundreds of floor and table lamps and pendant fittings, mostly from the 1970s, to ensure they met legal regulations and requirements.

    Although we have consistently provided a restoration service, the perception of designers towards it is beginning to shift. Historically, it was typically conservation architects or designers engaged in heritage projects who approached us for lighting restoration endeavours. However, there is a noticeable shift, as more individuals now recognise the value of engaging with us to repurpose a wide array of fixtures. This shift reflects a growing awareness that incorporating such discussions can significantly contribute to the advancement of a circular and ecologically sound economy.

    Dernier & Hamlyn is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: IHG

    A dark lit restaurant sheltered in brick-walled building

    Part 73: Specifying lighting for luxury restaurants

    1024 640 Hamish Kilburn
    Part 73: Specifying lighting for luxury restaurants

    For our next guide, the team at lighting manufacturer Northern Lights talk us through what’s on the menu when it comes to lighting design in luxury restaurants…

    A dark lit restaurant sheltered in brick-walled building

    When it comes to bar and restaurant design, lighting plays a critical role in influencing everything from operations and food preparation, through to guest satisfaction, length of stay and overall experience. In high-end restaurants a key goal of owner-operators is to encourage their clientele to extend their stay; to order the dessert or indulge in an extra glass of wine, which ultimately increases their spend per visit.

    Who better to converse with on the subject than the team at Northern Lights, who have been designing and manufacturing luxury lighting for the hospitality market – including award-winning bar and restaurants – for more than 35 years.

    Close-up of wall lighting that looks like an icicle on the walls

    Image credit: Michael Franke

    “All senses must be correctly stimulated to achieve an extraordinary dining experience,” explains Donna Gridley, Head of Creative. “In upscale establishments that use lower, warmer lighting conditions, people perceive a more intimate dining experience.  They’re relaxed and comfortable, tending to eat at a slower pace, and are more content with the food and their overall visit.

    Fine-dining restaurants often opt for several different lighting types to create the right balance of lighting in different areas. Layering allows for both functionality and drama. When correctly used it also highlights important design and architectural details to further add to the sensory appeal.

    There are three core types of illumination for restaurants: task, ambient and accent lighting. Each has a specific purpose and the placement of these across the spaces is equally important. Task lighting provides the functionality, allowing for specific tasks like food prep or reading of specials menus to be completed with ease. Ambient lighting is the core source of light that creates the atmosphere, usually achieved with overhead & wall fixtures, and natural light sources. Finally, accent lighting is used to create drama, tell the design narrative, and create focal points to highlight design details.  It’s usually more decorative in nature – from statement chandeliers, through to archway and table lighting.”

    Northern Lights has an impressive restaurant lighting portfolio, with several new projects launched at the end of last year. We caught up with some of the interior designers behind these latest projects, to uncover why they agree lighting plays such a vital role.

    The Libertine – Studio Found

    Restaurant in heritage building with lots of drama

    Image credit: Billy Bolton

    The historic Grade-I listed underground vaults of The Royal Exchange has been transformed over the last three years into The Libertine – a 650-square-metre F&B destination in the heart of London, brought to life by design practice Studio Found. Extensive research into the history of the building and its surroundings was required to enhance and complement this incredible space and all its curiosities. Studio Found commissioned Northern Lights to bring bespoke illumination to the intriguing interior.

    “You should never underestimate the impact of thoughtfully designed and quality-made lighting fixtures as part of the overall design concept of any hospitality space, Ed Plumb, Founder and Design Director, Studio Found, said. “Lighting is one way to create and enhance a desired ambiance and tone within a venue, be it a luxurious, intimate, or a more homely mood you want to create. Lighting also accentuates design details, adds texture and layering to complement the overall design.

    “This is evident at the newly opened The Libertine in the City of London, where we designed a lighting concept to illuminate and enhance the magnificent, historic, Grade-I listed underground vaults of The Royal Exchange in a subtle yet considered way. We achieved this by collaborating with Northern Lights whose manufacturing expertise and attention to detail helped us to deliver exceptional, high quality lighting fixtures throughout.

    “For any hospitality design project, we always recommend working from the outset with an expert lighting manufacturer who really gets your design concepts and can produce beautiful, quality lighting products to add that extra dimension to your venue.”

    Cut & Craft – Studio Two

    Cut & Craft - Studio Two ©Stevie Campbell & Studio Two

    Image credit: Stevie Campbell / Studio Two

    The iconic Leeds site that Cut & Craft sits on is dripping with history and opulence, taking over what once was the former Collinson’s Cafe, where Wallace Hartley had played in the orchestra shortly before boarding the Titanic as Band Master. Jewelled tones instantly welcome you to decadent dining, with a show-stopping central bar plus a unique champagne bar on the first floor, while the overall design manages to effortlessly maintain the character and history of the building.

    Zoe Wheatley, Director at Studio Two, agrees that lighting is integral to the total design concept. “Without key lighting design our efforts for the overall design concept wouldn’t come to life. Carefully specified lighting not only adds layers and depth, it also helps a space transition from day to night ensuring the story of the space is being told. In luxury restaurants, the design is more than just furniture and new joinery. The building itself needs to be highlighted and often we opt for discrete lighting to celebrate architecture or key building details. The high-impact decorative fittings are our opportunity to embellish the space with quality finishes, for example we used antique brass and bronzes at The Cut & Craft Leeds.”

    There are important considerations when it comes to sourcing the right lighting supplier for your project. “High-end products and quality finishes were absolutely key, as was the need for good communication and seamless delivery,” explained Wheatley. “We chose Northern Lights due to their ability to be bespoke and creative, offer innovative solutions, and also alternative suggestions on what would work best to enhance the space.”

    Furna – Elemental Architecture Design

    Sophisticated private dining room with lavish chandelier

    Image credit: Paul Winch Furness

    Furna welcomes guests to enjoy renowned chef Dave Mothersill’s unique take on classic dining, informed by memories from his childhood, travels and extensive culinary career.  Situated on Brighton’s New Road, it offers a multi-course tasting menu that celebrates high-quality, British-grown ingredients served with creativity and consideration.  A warm and intimate fine dining restaurant, the design like the food is both classic and modern, with a welcoming atmosphere provided by the warm lighting.

    “Lighting in restaurants is one of the most important aspects in design, it can be used to highlight materiality, change the mood, add interest and drama – it’s also vital to the functionality of a space,” commented Jeremy Diaper, Founder and Director, Elemental Architecture Design. “With feature lighting, you get the source of light adding warmth or interest, but also it can elevate the design and compliment the environment.  Northern Lights came highly recommended, and we thought they would be a great fit for the Furna project. They offered us lots of options following our brief and we also had some bespoke items made to match the scheme. Working with them was a good experience, smooth design consultation through to order, the lights came when we expected and additional requests for details and specifications were answered quickly and efficiently.”

    Koyn – Fabled Studio

    Blue bench and wood walls in restaurant

    Image credit: Michael Franke

    Situated amongst the elegant location of Grosvenor Street sits KOYN, a new high-end Japanese restaurant from the name behind some of Mayfair’s top restaurants, Samyukta Nair.  It’s a magnet for interior lovers, with the design spearheaded by Samyukta and Fabled Studio’s Tom Strother.

    The restaurant is split into two distinct areas: Midori and Magma, inspired by the dual nature of Mount Fuji in Japan, both its calm slopes and its fiery centre.

    Diners enter on the ground floor at Midori, a horticultural haven channelling Japanese zen gardens – think light green leather banquette seating and iridescent oyster shell walls, with a marble sushi bar in the middle. Downstairs, meanwhile, you’ll find Magma, a subterranean space featuring black oak ceilings, focused around a charcoal-fuelled timber robata grill with burnt orange stools – a nod to the heat of the volcano.

    Award-winning international interior design practice Fabled Studio wanted to ensure the unique design principles and dining experience were carefully reflected in the lighting. Northern Lights were tasked with developing bespoke lighting for both inside and outside the venue. The most iconic fixtures are the wall sconces with tapered textured glass cones. The glass-blown cones resemble icicles, held in place using laser-cut brass support bars, and beautifully expand on the design narrative whilst adding soft illumination.

    Northern Lights is one of our Recommended Suppliers and regularly features in our Supplier News section of the website. If you are interested in becoming one of our Recommended Suppliers, please email Katy Phillips.

    Main image credit: Billy Bolton