Awakening our senses through lighting

Lighting is a sensory experience, says Rebecca Wong, Associate Director of LWK + PARTNERS. And even if we’re not aware of it, it deeply affects how we enjoy a space.

Rebecca compares her role to “applying makeup on architecture” by highlighting important features of the design of a place and using shadows to create contrast.

“It’s all about playing with light and shadows, volume and space, lines and texture,” she says. “Lighting sets the mood for a story to happen, inspires alternative ways of experiencing and thinking about a space and creates an emotional connection.”

Rebecca cites her experience with award-winning Hong Kong restaurant Kei Cuisine, which commissioned LWK + PARTNERS as interior designers.

“The restaurant is meant to celebrate a blend of cultures, so we decided to set up the lights in a way that encourages imagination and a hint of mystery,” she says. To suit the restaurant’s commercial positioning, Rebecca also made sure to factor in a sense of elegance and exclusivity.

Another recent project is the Hebei Grand Hotel, Anyue. Consisting of twin towers and 60 low-rise villas, Rebecca used lighting to transform the luxurious hotel from day to night into serene urban getaway.

“During the day the twin towers look like solid cuboids, but at night, their soft side is revealed through façade lighting,” she says. “Instead of delineating all four sides of the cuboid, linear lights are only applied along the inner and top sides to bring out the beautiful symmetry. This mimics the effect of the morning haze forming a shimmering outline at the building edges.”

While lighting design has traditionally focused on the hospitality sector, today Rebecca works with every kind of project from facades, restaurants and galleries to offices, schools, landscapes and large-scale mixed-use developments.

Two categories of the A&D Awards 2020 are dedicated to lighting. Interior designers can enter projects for the Best Use of Lighting Award, and lighting suppliers can submit entries in the Innovation & Technology – Smart Living & Working category.