DoubleTree by Hilton, Dubai

Double-Tree-by-Hilton-20170720-DWP-05-683x1024.jpg

The DoubleTree Hotel is located in the Business Bay area, Dubai was intended to raise the standard of this already well-known brand. The owners and design teams were challenged to make this the very best Doubletree hotel in the world.

The building was an existing tower that required a lot of thought and engineering to create the finished result. From a lighting perspective, we very much wanted to use details that add warmth and comfort to a hotel room. Creating an envelope of warm clear light required the WGC design team to employ techniques usually reserved intimate settings.  We wanted to transform the setting with a subtle character that could change from a working environment to a relaxing living room easily.

Working closely with the interior design team we developed many 3D renders of various concepts and ultimately arrived at what worked best to achieve the clients and designers best intent.

Procurement phase proved to be challenging but ultimately very rewarding as we searched for fixtures that could fulfill our design intention and the overall budget. WGC has become extremely experienced in this phase of a project and is dedicated to value engineering that never compromises.

uring the buildout, we were involved in adjusting various elements to the construction and finally we were on hand to focus and adjust all of the lighting scenes. We are extremely happy that our clients project has become very successful and we look forward to seeing what they will create next.

WGC’s Dynamic Mix of Audiovisual Technology for Hospitality and Live Entertainment Events

Discover one of the most innovative ballrooms in the industry with a show kitchen, vehicle access with high end audio and visual systems at the Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel. The newly constructed ballroom and renovation project has been completed under the concept “Our World Is Your Playground”. The new pillarless Eternity Daylight Ballroom combines natural daylight and versatile space with a distinctive design and elegant environment, enhanced by the latest technology, a striking 6.3-meter-high ceiling and crystal chandeliers. The brand new purpose built ballroom presents a cosmopolitan, vibrant, and stylish experience.

WGC designed the state-of-the-art ballroom with a very flexible high quality sound system, visual, and stage lighting system. The design work includes a sound reinforcement system for New Ballroom, Back Ground Sound System (BGM) of all areas including the show kitchen, pre function area, lobby bar, Deja Vu restaurant as well as technical communications and video presentation equipment for the Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel.

The audio visual system follows two main functions. Firstly, a digital/ IP based system, which allows for flexibility and longevity. Secondly, the system allows for a quick set up for any event. 

The system has minimal impact and small footprint to help maintain the clean look of the associated areas. WGC has provided excellent resources for the hotel staff and maximizes room productivity. The new Eternity Ballroom has a flexible audio visual facilities that support multiple functions and various events without the bringing in of any outside equipment. The speakers and most of the equipment are hidden in the wall panels and ceiling, creating a clean look. The 470 sq.m. Eternity Daylight Ballroom can accommodate up to 500 guests with a car entrance from the adjoining car park which makes it ideal for vehicle exhibitions and product launches. The new ballroom provides a number of input/output panels allowing for guest speakers/ presenters to use their own laptops, and features auto switching inputs, other inputs are provided allowing for HDMI or VGA compatibility. The audio visual facility also allows for the digital patching of the digital signage system to any fixed projector. Data transfer will be via the AV cat6a network making it possible to connect into any of the floor boxes and relay the media signal to any projectors within the AV system. 

The show kitchen concept where cooking is highlighted to offer a culinary experience where guests interact freely with the chefs as they prepare the food. The Show Kitchen offers the facility for the chefs to be amplified easily with wireless headset microphones. This area features lighting and sound to create an exciting original showcase for the chefs. The show kitchen combines all of the high end audiovisual technologies and facilities design making the Eternity Daylight Ballroom the perfect venue for any conference, exhibition, private event, or wedding.

The Glen Bar has an advanced sound system with a high level of control. The main feature is the 5 x 3 meter LED video wall. The resolution of the LED panel is very high, super bright and clear. A high quality audio reproduction system for the Glen Bar is capable of providing back ground music (BGM) as well as medium/ full intensity foreground music, which supports both reproduced sound and live music. The core of the system is a digital based DSP which allows easy configuration by hotel staff. The control system uses an iPad connected to the control system over Wifi to seamlessly allow for on the fly adjustments from any position within the bar. The system supports live streaming of events from the new ballroom or show kitchen, from the hotel IP TV system, plus locally to the projector or LED wall or both. A full active JBL system with the satellite loudspeakers are passive and driven by power amplifiers located remotely. Hotel guests can enjoy a sporting event, club graphics and all kind of programs on the LED wall while guest speakers, presenters, a band set up, and the DJ should have all the audio visual facilities they require to create great entertainment. 

 

 

Year End Appreciation

Dear Friends,

2016 was a fast paced year for WGC, significant new projects were won and many successful projects were completed. 

This year all of our studios grew substantially and with our latest service; IT and Security systems design, the company’s revenue more than doubled over the course of the year and is very well positioned for a great 2017.

The lighting studio worked extensively on the W Hotel at the Palm Jumeirah in Dubai. This project which is now deep into construction was both an artistic and technical challenge. The team moved through the design phases by mid-year and then focussed on finding the best procurement options for the client. The project due to its large size meant that literally thousands of lights were used, each with cost implications. We are happy to report that the process has been incredibly positive.

WGC won new lighting design contracts for the BHH Hilton Airport Hotel and Dubai Waterfront projects. A total of ten hotels were designed by WGC in the last 12 months. Elsewhere the company was involved in many retail and mall projects as well as a Madame Tussauds 4D theatre and Riwaq Cordoba Mall in Saudi Arabia, just to name a few. Many lighting design projects also featured our audiovisual and acoustics teams in an integrated approach.

The audiovisual team was extremely active this year with a great project for the Pullman Bangkok King Power Hotel. A state of the art ballroom was designed and installed, which was met with extremely positive reviews. Other parts of the hotel were also upgraded, including cocktail lounge, hotel lobby. Additionally, the team was hired for full design and development programs for the Park Hyatt St. Kitts and Cabrits Resort Kempinski located in the Caribbean. The team also designed a number of excellent conference rooms and was involved in many corporate projects, such as Citibank and Bangkok Banks latest boardrooms.

This year was the busiest year for our acoustics team, which won a wide range of projects from hotels to residential to studios. With projects coming from Kenya, Serbia, Bangkok, and the UAE it was a fantastic year of diversity for our team. The last project of a year featured on the ground testing and measurements taken at the RMIT University campus in Vietnam to support their studio renovation project.

The first year of WGC’s IT an Security services was very progressive. Starting with our project in Bangladesh a Raddison Blu Hotel, alway to finishing the year with SEAsia Stanford University campus project. WGC smoothly saw our team and new projects grow exponentially.

As we look towards 2017, we are excited, motivated, and full of anticipation.

Finally and most importantly, we are thankful to our staff for the hard work throughout the year. We would also like to thank our clients and partners as well as project managers and the other consultants we had the good fortune to work with. We are very grateful for the outcome this year, and looking forward to next year’s collaboration.

Sincerely,                                                                                                                                       Kenny Jackel                                                                                                                                 Principal

Designing luxury experiences onboard with a one-stop design studio

Martha Ann Superyacht

Martha Ann Superyacht

WGC enhances the atmospheric spaces onboard superyachts with advanced technology, systems, and knowhow. WGC will participate in the Thailand Yacht Show on 16 – 18 December 2016 at Ao Po Grand Marina, Phuket. The event combines the best aspects of yacht charter, boating technology, and luxury lifestyle. Destined to attract numerous visitors from around the world and become the focal point of the luxury charter yacht business in Asia Pacific.

WGC will show our portfolios of intelligent lighting and controls, advanced audiovisual technology, and high tech security and surveillance systems that make you feel as if you were on land in your home. With the expertise and ambition to turn fantasy into reality, WGC brings all these technologies together to enhancing the overall entertainment experience onboard and creating a beautiful feeling space.

Lighting                                                                                                                                         Advances in LED lights and control technology opens up a whole new possibility for marine lighting design. Yacht owners can now enjoy the same exceptional standard of lighting that they would demand in their homes and leave the rest in the good hand of our designers to factor in space restrictions and other conditions like low energy usage, long life span and robust fixture enclosures designed for life at sea. 

Audio Visual                                                                                                                                       State of the art entertainment systems, using the latest in high-definition, HD and 3D technologies along with immersive multichannel surround sound, our expert engineering creates the ultimate cinema or concert experience in your yacht.                                                                                                                                                  Movies and music are stored on a central server with instant access at any time anywhere in the world. Screens can be hidden in ceilings or furniture when not in use. Touch panel controls with easy-to-use menus allow intuitive system navigation.

IT & Security                                                                                                                                    Floating luxury properties are likely to expose private owners and their family to modern-day security threats. To allow owners piece of mind and a restful sleep, feeling safe and secure, we can design advanced security systems including facial and biometric monitoring, close circuit television with active tracking for recording all crew and visitor movements.                                                                                                                                            To run your business or personal life we can deliver a high speed internet access (HSIA) network that will keep you connected day and night whatever the sea conditions are outside in all areas of the world, whatever your cruising plans

1823 Tea Lounge by Ronnefeldt

Located in the heart of Bangkok at Gaysorn Shopping Centre,  1823 Tea Lounge by Ronnefeldt showcases a timeless interior space complimented by a simple yet elegant lighting environment.  Lighting is carefully designed to create a serene spot amidst the hustle and bustle of Bangkok’s Central Business District for urban locals and international business people alike to relax and experience premium tea. 

Under the concept idea “simply elegant” from the interior designer, the lighting atmosphere was created to reflect their design theme. The interior designer’s intention is to create a timeless space in order to carry on the history of the original tea brand Ronnefeldt that was established since 1823.

Warm white light 3000K LED is picked to give a warm touch to the white marble, white color furniture, and shiny chrome aluminum. The linear LED strip lights with opal diffuser lens are integrated into the display shelves both vertically and horizontally to highlight the display without showing any unpleasant LED dots reflection.  

The gold painted dome ceiling has an indirect LED cove uplight surrounding convex edges. The cove light not only creates a soft glow around the curved ceiling but also it makes a warm yellow reflected light to fill in the entire space.  Ceiling recessed adjustable LED down lights with black trim are used within the gold painted dome ceiling to accent the tables below. The clusters of decorative glass globe halogen pendants in random heights provide light for both tables and the wall details behind. 

Since the project is located next to public transportation where the cooler white light is mainly applied, the interior warm light atmosphere creates a contrast from the surroundings and it enhances exterior view as a focal point into the space. With the warm color light, the space is visually separated from the surrounding area.  Considering its isolation from the busy sky train platform access areas, the space can serve as a timeless stopping point for the commuters.  All lights in the project are controlled by a lighting control system for the transition between day time and night time. The dimming system also helps in reducing the energy consumption and extending the halogen lamps life.

      

Escape the Summer Heat at the Brand New Ice Age 4D Cinema at Madame Tussauds Bangkok

Introducing our brand new 4D cinema project, WGC provided all of the acoustic design and specifications, part of the lighting inside the theatre, and also lighting for the attraction area. Now that the theatre is open with daily audiences pouring in and raving about the experience, we can enjoy all of the hard work that went into making this project great. From beginning to end the project manager, Mr. Markus Fuehrer of Cornerstone Project Management led a very strong and organized team through a very difficult construction process.

The theatre being located in an area of Siam Discovery, just below the roof and just above Madame Tussauds existing wax museum, required significant and creative structural engineering which was provided by BECA. Once this was solved the project moved rapidly with the acoustic walls being built quickly allowing the theatre internals to be constructed and ready for opening night.

We are extremely pleased with the results and are looking forward to the next collaboration with Madame Tussauds.

Iceage6.jpg
Iceage4.jpg
Iceage1.jpg
Iceage3.jpg

WGC Transition to Revit

WGC Design Studio has invested in staff training and the adoption of the Autodesk Revit software package.  Early implementation is not just a matter of staying current with technology advancements in the AEC industry but also a critical approach to facilitate workflow and collaboration between architectural design elements, structural members, and various types of mechanical equipment. 

WGC Associate Director and Lead Revit Trainer, Wanlop Chantrakolkit, shares some insight to the challenges and benefits of the Revit software package. 

1. Benefits of Revit to Lighting Design Process

The Building Information Model (BIM) combines all of the technical information and layouts together with architectural, mechanical and electrical and interior designs, so it is not just 2D drawing anymore, concerning lighting, it includes all of the pertinent information such as light output, light performance, watts analysis, and control circuits all together in a 3D model. 

2. Make Large-Scale Changes Easier

Revit is designed to help architects on large-scale projects that involve many working units because the software helps to reduce coordination time between each team. Revit takes AutoCAD collaborative, the endless task of sending and receiving countless download links is gone. Any designer with access to model can instantly see any changes internally as well as every partner from any of the design or engineering teams.

One of the truly great concepts of BIM and Revit is that we can real-time monitor changes from the other architect and engineering teams and we will be notified if anything affects our lighting design. Moreover, as the the project develops we can update and make wholesale changes in design, lighting quality and fixture quantity and instantly see these changes. We can not only see the lighting design change but the cost savings or increases are automatically updated as the design is updated. This is extremely efficient and is one of the main benefits of the spending the time early in a project to create a useful model.

3. Speed Up the Completion of a Project

Revit will help us in making a consistent and complete project more accurately. It takes more time to build, but when it is done it can help to streamline the documenting processes at the end of the project which was difficult at best. Furthermore, the fluid inclusion of design details at anytime that every member of the team can immediately see, makes the ever evolving model more useful as the project develops.

4. Streamline Light Calculation

AGI32 is an important lighting calculation and simulation software that we use constantly. It now has a plug-in version for the Revit model. So, without building rooms, the lighting designer can just add the specified lights into the model and calculate. This allows us to calculate the light levels and it also gives you a simulated visual representation of both the lighting design and its effectiveness. An example of why this is useful is, if a client has a brand standard that they are working to match, then we can use the simulation to determine if the brands specifications have been met and to have a visual representation that is seen as numerical readings as well as a light map that shows the contours and dispersion of the light.

5. What will the training process be like for new designers coming to WGC?

Since the Revit model is going to carry on a lot of information, the technicians and design team need to understand how they can streamline their work and how their input affects the project on the whole. Because of this, it is very important that all of the users have the same knowledge base and usage techniques for Revit, besides light understanding.

Lighting Designer or Light Supplier and the Balance between the Two

Interior spaces represent a unique challenge to properly light. Carefully planned and elaborately designed lighting can make a huge difference in how a space feels. Light can add drama to a room or turn a building into a landmark. Thoughtful lighting design allows users to enjoy interior spaces to their full potential.

To ensure that the quality and quantity of illumination is perfect, lighting designers and light suppliers should work together. While such collaboration would represent the ideal scenario for lighting design, most project managers choose to work either with a supplier, or a designer, thus making it impossible to achieve a desired lighting level or mood effect. It is imperative that the industry understands the difference between designer and supplier.

To put it simply, the supplier is the one who focuses on the fixture itself, whereas the designer is the one who thinks about how light lands on a surface and how it affects the space. Let’s take a closer look at each to determine the differences between them.  

 

1.     The Lighting Designers

Lighting designers have ability to create visual beauty with the refined manipulation of light sources. According to Richard Kelly, the pioneer in modern architectural lighting design and his famous theory of lighting, the interplay of three elemental kinds of lights: Focal Glow (make it easier to see), Ambient Luminescence (make surroundings safe and reassuring) and Play of Brilliants (stimulate the spirit), will help a designer achieve the unique light effects.

Glasshousebyrichardkelly

To be more specific, lighting designers utilize both direct and indirect light to illuminate rooms and objects. The lighting design process takes account of:

·       The color of light (Correlated Color Temperature or CCT) and the way it affects the view of particular objects, or the environment as a whole

·       The distribution of light within the outdoor and indoor space

·       The type of human activity to which lighting will lend itself

·       The effect of lighting systems on users

·       Energy efficiency

·       Room reflectance (the use of lighting systems with appropriate color rendition properties)

·       Acceptable level of glare

All lighting designers are experts in the anatomy of the human eye, the psychology of light perception, and the physics of light production, reflectance and distribution. As opposed to light suppliers, who only have a deep understanding of technical aspects (especially for their products), lighting designers are well-equipped to make lighting design decisions based on multiple criteria, including photometric studies, uniformity and ratios of illuminance, polar intensity curves, isolux diagrams, and correlated color temperature principles.

There are four basic properties that lighting designers must control to achieve a desired interior atmosphere:

1.1. Distribution Light can be distributed on interior surfaces in many different ways through the use of unfocused glow or sharply defined targeted lights. Controlled distribution can be used to produce various light and shadow combinations that impact the look and feel of a room.

1.2. Movement The capacity of light to change over time is called the “movement of light”. It offers flexible expressiveness to interior spaces.

1.3. Intensity Contrast has a significant impact on how bright or dim a room will appear to the user.

1.4. Color The color of objects within a room is determined by the hue of the object and the color of light shining on it. 1800K- 3500K lights are considered “warm”, 4000K-4500K ones are considered “neutral” or “cool white”, and 5000K are considered “cold”.

 

Advantages & Disadvantages of Working with a Lighting Designer

A good lighting designer will know how to utilize available daylight to obtain variance in lighting level, direction, and spectral composition throughout the day or customize lighting schemes according to unique needs of a space.

Lighting designers are the only ones who truly take into account the needs of human wellbeing and impression a space gives. The only down side to hiring a lighting designer is the professional design fee. Many customers prefer to figure out their own lighting schemes and collaborate directly with the supplier to cut corners.

 

2. The Light Suppliers

Light suppliers know all the technical details of their products. They can tell you the physical advantages of various lighting systems (e.g. energy efficiency, durability, controllability, longevity, etc.), but their expertise is generally limited to the products that they work with. They lack the far-reaching view of light designers.

lightfixture

Below are the basic considerations that light suppliers cover:

·       Independent verification of performance

·       Quality & warranty of lighting products

·       Component compatibility

·       Safety & EMC compliance

·       Installation

·       Total power, luminous flux, and luminous efficacy

·       CCT (correlated color temperature), CRI (color rendering index)

 

Advantages and Disadvantages of Working with a Light Supplier

According to lighting designers, the biggest problem of letting light manufactures take charge of the design process is the fact that they are likely to make spaces “unwelcoming”. You could say that most light suppliers design ‘by the numbers’ or focus on ‘technical regulations’.  Although there are many light suppliers out there who can recommend the right fixture in order to reduce the overall fixture number, some tend to recommend more expensive light fixtures simply to make the most profit, and in most situations without taking into account design factors. As a result, client might not end up with the light effects they desire.

It is only natural that light suppliers tend to recommend the products that they represent. On the other hand, the lighting designer will use their creativity and make suggestions based on several criteria that in a bigger picture serve a project’s goal whether it is energy efficiency, LEED qualifications, light quality, overall ambiance, and total budget.

 

Know how to balance...

Lighting for architecture has been and still often is dominated by an engineering viewpoint, resigned to determining sufficient illuminance levels for a safe and efficient working environment. There is a danger in becoming so fixated on fixture or source efficiency that we lose sight of the most important objective in lighting design, which is to create quality luminous environments for people, as opposed to for power-density targets.

Not enough light where it is needed, or too much light in other areas. Poor bathroom lighting that makes you look less attractive than usual. Glare and bright lights overhead that make the space feel uncomfortable to live in.  These are only a few of the problems generated by poor lighting design, however, they can be avoided simply by establishing a good collaboration between a competent lighting designer and a trustworthy light supplier. 

Taking Smart Home Concepts to a Larger Scale

A trend that cannot be ignored by hospitality industry

Ever since the foundation of the ubiquitous computer, the concept of ambient and smart technologies has fueled intense work in areas such as mobile applications, engineering, and computer science. Today’s language of technology is massively impacted by the notion of ‘smart’: smart-phones, smart-watches, smart-grids, and finally, smart homes

Despite the fact that the last decade has seen an increase in properties with embedded smart home technology, connectivity in home devices (e.g. utility meters, sensors, advanced lighting systems, security cameras, TVs, etc.) continues to be regarded as a high-end novelty. But as we move into the future, this notion will be rendered obsolete. Analysts predict that the house of the future will contain over 15 connected devices, ranging from vehicle charging infrastructure to solar panels and motion sensors.

Even though we are just beginning to understand the possibilities of smart homes, it’s not too early that we take the concept to the next level.

Among the main topics to be discussed at the Light + Building Trade Fair, this year, are Smart Homes and Smart Powered Buildings. 

“In view of the increasing worldwide demand for energy and the climate-protection objectives, it is important that the energy-saving potential of buildings be exploited to the full. An important prerequisite for this is interaction between energy supply and the intelligent building.” Source: Light + Building

Numerous exhibitors present their latest solutions in areas such as advanced lighting systems, digitized systems, security systems, and smart home automation solutions and discuss their applicability in luxury residential housing and the hospitality sector. It has already been demonstrated that the concept can be deployed on a large scale.

Many hotel owners such as Starwood, Hilton and Wyndham, who understand the importance of sustainable development, are already pioneering with controlled lighting solutions, audio-visual software and automated security systems. The next step for them is to bring all these application under one roof, through automation.

Mobile connectivity will play a crucial role in the deployment of ‘smart’ technologies on a larger scale, as they will be the ones to support remote device monitoring, data management, and firmware updating for larger constructions. 

Examples of Hotels that are Already Using Smart Technology:

- Starwood Embraces Technology with Dozens of New Amenities

- Enabling Smart Room Technology for the Ultimate Hotel Experience

- America’s 10 Highest-tech Hotels

- Smart Hotel Guest Room Management System

 

Smart Home Technology: What’s Available?

Understanding what is available in the smart home market will help project owners consider a breadth of possibilities when deploying the technology to larger commercial developments whether they are luxury hotels and resorts or high-end residences. 

A smart home uses electronic networking technology to integrate multiple appliances, devices, and building environment systems, making it possible for them to be controlled centrally, or remotely, by a single application. 

 

  • Smart home automation systems enable the user to control heating & cooling, security systems, smoke/fire alarms, video cameras, lighting, media devices, doors and gates. Many systems integrate with third-party technologies, which means that you will have the freedom to choose the home solutions you prefer. Out of the 10 home automation systems reviewed by TopTenReviews, the top contenders are Control4, Crestron, and HomeSeer.

 

  • Light occupancy sensors can also be used to save money and increase energy-efficiency. Another solution would be to connect all the lighting systems in your house to a home automation system and turn them on/off as needed. 

 

  • Smart grid ready appliances can be operated remotely to perform desired functions. They can also communicate user information to energy companies, thus helping you save money during peak hours. 

 

  • Smart thermostats have self-learning capabilities that enable them to manage temperature control. There is a particular thermostat that received worldwide recognition for its functionality: the Nest Thermostat. This nifty little device can run the home temperature all by itself and help home owners save hundreds of dollars on energy bills (50% of energy bills go to heating & cooling). Furthermore, the Nest can sense the owner’s presence in the home and check weather forecasts to adjust temperatures accordingly. 

 

  • Smart lighting systems are designed to maximize energy efficiency. Most advanced lighting systems have automated controls that make adjustments according to the user’s preferences, daylight availability and occupancy. Philips has come up with a series of interesting products including dimming kits, lamps, light strips, and the incredible Philips Hue. This web-enabled LED home lighting system uses an advanced API that works with IFTTT (If This Then That) to improve home security and control lighting automatically. And this is just the beginning. 
The Ninja Sphere is a home automation systems that couples wireless environmental sensors with its software to remotely switch lights on or off. 

The Ninja Sphere is a home automation systems that couples wireless environmental sensors with its software to remotely switch lights on or off. 

 

  • Renewables. The smart-home of the future will, most definitely, use renewable energy systems. The first solutions that come to mind are solar energy and wind energy. However, there are also lesser known renewables, including geothermal and wave energy that can produce electricity and heat spaces on a large scale. 

 

  • Smart home security systems will help you keep an eye on your home, even when you’re away. There are several automated security systems already, including Netatmo Welcome, Nest Cam, Canary, and Piper, which can be used remotely. 

 

The Benefits of Large-scale Smart Home Deployment

Courtesy of Starwood Hotels

Courtesy of Starwood Hotels

Achieving Ultimate Energy Efficiency

One of the most important goals of smart home systems is achieving ultimate energy efficiency. All the sustainable technologies described above, and many others, will greatly reduce energy costs. 

“Electricity generation and consumption can be harmonized better using smart-meter technology. Through the visualization of consumption data, the user can work out how to achieve greater energy efficiency, which is then managed by the building-automation systems.” Source: Smart-meter technology is key to energy-efficiency

Address Human Well-Being: Human Centric Lighting

The main purpose of technology is to make life better. The major innovations of the past decade have helped improve the quality of life, start on a path of sustainability, and reduce the cost of living. In the lighting industry, technology is moving towards human-centric lighting (HCL) - a concept that aims to match lighting qualities with circadian rhythms and give users more control over light usage.  It is believed to be truly integrating energy efficiency with human well-being.

Improve the User’s Experience

When all the elements of technology are geared towards improving the experience of the end-user, it’s impossible to go wrong. The word ‘home’ is no longer synonym with shelter. It encompasses a plethora of qualities such as comfort and luxury. Smart home solutions, controlled lighting, attention to detail, automated heating and cooling systems have a huge impact on the way that a home, or hotel, is experienced. 

Solid Long Term Investment

The upfront costs of smart technology aren’t huge. Despite the fact that the implementation of smart solutions may require you to stretch your budget, the money you save on the long run and the experience you will be able to provide to your customers will more than make up for it.

 

Challenges in Large-Scale Smart Home Deployment

The guiding principles of smart homes can be deployed on a large scale, for luxury residential housing as well as hotels, but there are a series of challenges that must be addressed:

1. Solutions to mitigate the visual impact of technology on the feel of the space, particularly for retrofitting situations. 

2. Strategies to integrate data coming from disparate sources such as smart-phones, wearables, environmental sensors, lighting systems etc. 

3. User interfaces that can be accessed without inconveniencing users. 

4. Smart home automation systems that can be deployed by non-specialists on a larger scale.

Tidbits from Light + Building 2016

Smart system solutions and modern design are the foundation for improving the quality of life. The motto of Light + Building 2016 is ‘digital - individual - networked’. These three significant aspects of technology are the keys to creating modern spaces that improve the quality of life as well as making it possible to suit different individual needs. 

WGC’s lighting design team is excited to visit the world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building services technology in Frankfurt, Germany. As our design studio advances, we readily combine a variety of smart technologies for the best solutions in lighting, acoustics, and audiovisual systems. Specifically, we aim to make life easier for the users in terms of user friendly operation, economic efficiency and for all of our designs to be environmentally sustainable. 

Here are some of our picks from the #LB16:

Beauty with functions

Viabizzuno is a high end light fixture manufacture from Italy. Their specialty is to combine functionality and beauty. Chanel and Valentino are official customers of Viabizzuno for use in their retail stores.  

 

Light and Atmosphere 

These two fixture designs above are created by one of the great architects of our time: Peter Zumthor.  Zumthor is known for his poetic book ‘Atmospheres’ in which he describes what constitutes an architectural atmosphere from the composition and presence of the materials to the handling of proportions and the effect of light. 

 

One of the world leaders in light technology: Erco

Erco has shifted into the new era - the era of digital light with a product range based entirely on LED technology opening up to all possibilities of LEDs including light generation and light guidance through to light control. 

The booth is divided into 2 sections: black and white. The white one shows the beauty of the fixture forms. The black section shows the technical side of the fixtures including installation details, driver, and light simulation. The power consumption in Erco booth is relatively low, about 4w/sq. m.

 

A Timeless Luminaire Design by BEGA

BEGA is a global market leader recognized for its high-quality luminaires for architecture and exteriors. The company has been developing two main product categories: 1) exterior lighting and 2) light control equipment and systems.  Launching two new LED products is the highlight of this year. 

Starting with a new LED high performance floodlight. With a light output of more than 50,000 lumen in an extremely compact design, this series sets new standards with regard to cost-effectiveness, compactness and efficiency.

 A new LED pole-top luminaire for the energy-efficient illumination of residential roads, driveways and traffic-calmed areas.

Lighting Concept to Create Ambiance at Riedel Wine Bar

The big buzz heard on last Friday was the grand opening of Riedel Wine Bar and Cellar which should make true wine lovers very happy. The latest addition of premium restaurants and bars at Gaysorn Shopping Centre is taking wine enjoyment to the next level. Riedel Wine Bar and Cellar is the first flagship wine bar and restaurant of the renowned Riedel glassware company worldwide. The ultimate space for relaxing and unwinding, the bar is divided into three main areas: the retail store, restaurant, and the bar.

WGC Design Director, Vee Kungwankitti, shares some strategic lighting ideas that help to create a superb atmosphere. The bar has a wonderful blend of classic and contemporary design with warm wooden interiors, the lighting concept should represent classic luxury and a friendly atmosphere at the same time. In this space, sophistication and style are priorities, but so is function. Riedel has a mix between retail, dining experience, and the bar; therefore, the key is the right light adaptation in different scenes. This mean that we can change the intensity of the light to fit any event from wine tasting to private parties.

According to research, people are more comfortable when they are under warm white light, we use warm white light to control the mood and tone to create a cozy effect in the space. The entrance to Riedel is the retail area so the light is brighter and focuses more on ambient lighting compared to other areas. For the main dining area, the restaurant features 80 seats. Seating is also an excellent way to add color, we have the down lights focusing on the table top of each dining table for the guests to see the color of the wine. It also creates a personal space. There is nothing like a little strategic lighting to make the bar unforgettable! The look is completed with bulb-like pendent lighting in the center of the room, which gives the space a distinctly modern look. These lights were developed in conjunction with a local glass blower and each one is unique. The lighting under the bar and counter is even more focused than the dining room, there is a high level of contrast in lighting from classic to ultra modern. Lighting plays a major role at Riedel, we would like to represent the heritage of the world premiere brand as well as the superb atmosphere of the wine bar.

In addition to lighting design WGC also provided audiovisual systems design and acoustics consulting services.

Green Lighting Design: A Path to Sustainability

Light is not only energy. It is the fourth dimension of architecture. Light can be molded by the hands of the designer or architect to create an ambiance, while also acting as a strategic environmental resource. 

The expectation for lighting to make buildings look better is giving way to a new way of thinking, where light is expected to make buildings work better. This new definition of “better” encompasses sustainability principles. The object of sustainable design is to create thoughtful structures that will be productively utilized for years, decades, maybe even centuries. 

Sustainable Lighting Design

Contrary to popular belief, sustainable lighting design is not only about achieving more watts per meter square. While resource conservation plays an important role in green lighting, the true goal of sustainable lighting is to optimize performance without losing quality. 

In lighting, the term ‘quality’ is defined by a series of abstract elements, such as the interplay of aesthetics, visual acuity, and architectural integrity. This means that finding the perfect balance between sustainability and visual appeal requires a delicate approach. 

The lighting industry finds itself at an interesting junction. Designers have a choice: 

1. Become environmental advisers capable of creating lighting systems that are finely integrated and optimized with existing architectural systems, or

2. Run the risk of marginalizing themselves from energy concerns by failing to redefine the value of light.

The LEED Program: Addressing Quality of Lighting

The implementation of green lighting has the potential to promote a sustainable lifestyle and enhance energy efficiency. Where sustainable light design is concerned, the LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating system, developed by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) provides a clear framework for identifying and utilizing measurable green lighting solutions that apply to all building types.

For projects to become certified under LEED standards they must obtain a minimum of 26 points, the point system is defined in the LEED documentation. Green lighting systems play a vital role in the pursuit of high environmental design performance. A sustainable approach to lighting design can add up to 8 LEED points in areas such as indoor environmental quality, innovative design, sustainable site, and more. The NC-2009 IEQpc22 credit addresses the quality of lighting in interior spaces, focusing on luminance and reflectance qualities. 

Here are several key elements of green light design, taken into account by the LEED – NC Rating system - that impact the quality & sustainability of a space:

  • Light pollution – light trespass for the site, sky-glow, nighttime visibility, glare reduction. 
  • Sky glow – transient light waves that are refracted in the surrounding atmosphere.
  • Impact on Ecology – the effects of light pollution on animal behavior. 
  • Day lighting and glazing – daylight is the foundation of all sustainable building activities. 
  • Light Trespass – unwanted or excessive light that penetrates neighboring properties. 
  • Advanced Control & Ballast systems – Lighting accounts for over 40% of total energy costs. Controlled lighting systems with motion sensors, and other green lighting solutions = better energy-efficiency. 
  • Lead Free Lamps (reduction of potentially harmful lead contamination) & mercury containment (mercury can become a problem in the recycling process). 

Strategies for Green Lighting Design

Lighting is one of the most visceral qualities of an indoor space. Let’s take a look at several strategies that can be employed to decrease energy consumption without forfeiting quality.

1. Use Daylight Delivery Systems

Energy-efficient lighting and CFLs are great, but why struggle to bring artificial light into a building when we have access to the ultimate renewable source of light: the sky. Houses should be well conceived so as to permit copious amounts of light to enter through skylights, light shelves, well-placed windows, reflective materials, or translucent wall panels. 

2. Select the Right Light Fittings

Many lighting options (e.g. pendant, sconce, strip LEDs, spot, track lights etc.) suit a wide range of purposes. Planning your lighting design beforehand and opting for light fittings that serve their purpose correctly will help you maximize the use of light in a space and reduce energy costs. 

3. Redefine the Value of Light

Sustainable lighting is changing the way that architectural projects are designed. By including lighting considerations from the beginning of a project, sustainability goals can be easily addressed by the architect, electrical engineer, manufacturer, and designer. Furthermore, lighting concerns addressed during each phase of the process can guide overall building performance considerations. 

 

Current Industry Movement on SustainabLE Lighting

1. Expo Dubai 2020  – Sustainability as one of 3 Development Themes

Since being named the host of the next World Expo, the UAE has reiterated its commitment to fostering innovative and practical solutions for the ‘collective future’. For this purpose, an entire master-plan, which represents the visual manifestation of the themes waiting to be discussed, has been conceived. The three main themes of the expo, opportunity, mobility, and sustainability, represented through the special organization of the site, will converge at the central Al Wasl Plaza - the heart of the expo. 

Through the ingenious use of sustainable lighting systems, recycled materials, solar technology, and building-integrated photo voltaic panels, the venue of Expo 2020 Dubai demonstrates the large-scale applications of sustainable design are possible without having to forfeit aesthetic appeal. The night expo will use rich, interactive shade structure screens, natural light and advanced lighting systems to create a dramatic atmosphere and reduce carbon footprint. 

Expo 2020 Dubai - ‘Connecting minds, Creating the Future’

 

2. Green Lighting - Hotels Moving on the Path of Sustainable Lighting

More and more companies are becoming aware of the economic benefits of integrating energy-efficient lighting solutions. Lower carbon footprint and environmentally-friendly considerations may represent an afterthought, but hotels are slowly moving on the path to sustainability. 

According to a hospitality report conducted by Deloitte, sustainability represents one of the key trends of the industry due to increasingly scarce resources and ever-growing population. Despite the fact that sustainability concerns are not yet fully integrated in the business process, an overwhelming percent of business travelers believe that green initiatives should be adopted by all hotels. 

Green lighting solutions are perceived, not only as energy-efficient, but also as having a positive impact on the atmosphere of interior spaces. For example, advanced lighting systems that allow hotel guests to select the level of light for specific activities, translate into greater energy savings and more relaxed visitors. 

Major hotels across the world have already released reports that detail strategies that support hospitality sustainability. Here are a few notable examples:

  • Marriott International released a comprehensive report, based on the guidelines set by the GRI (Global Reporting Initiative). In it, the hotel captures results from the areas of social, economic and environmental responsibility. Notable highlights include a 12% reduction in water consumption, and a 4% reduction in energy consumption per square meter (by using LED lighting retrofit projects & studying best behaviors for lighting, heating, and ventilation). Hilton also reduced its total waste output by 20%.
  • Wyndham’s is also working towards more sustainable future. Its green program, through LightStay, has seen tremendous success. Wyndham was able to reduce its carbon output by 10.9%, its energy use by 9.7%, its waste output by 23.3%, and its water use by 7.5%. (full report)
  • Starwood Hotels & Resorts is an industry leader in the field of energy efficient and emission-reducing technologies. The company’s green strategies has resulted in reduced waste and pollution, better indoor environmental quality, and the conservation of natural resources.

Since more than 40% of energy consumption is attributed to lighting, it is only natural that green lighting solutions will largely contribute to hotels’ sustainability goals. 

3. iLight Festival – Asia's Illuminating the Path to Sustainable Lighting

Sustainable lighting design is becoming increasingly important. More and more architects and designers are making efforts to educate the public and raise awareness on the importance of improved outdoor lighting and energy efficiency. The iLight festival, Asia’s only sustainable light festival, demonstrates the need for quality over quantity in urban lighting, and the importance of implementing retrofit programs for a green future. 

The fourth edition of the iLight Marina Bay festival, organized by Singapore's Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA), is already underway. For another 20 days, the sustainable light art installations of local and international artists will dazzle visitors.

“We are glad to be able to pass on the important message of sustainability to the younger generation. The success of the first three editions has been very encouraging. We hope more people join us in becoming advocates for a positive environmental change.” Source: Ura.gov.sg

 

The Best 4D Movie Experience in Bangkok: Madame Tussauds Construction Update

Currently the 4D seating is being installed, these specialized theater seats have many features including vibration, smell, moisture, tickling, poking and other sensations. The 4D effect chairs are connected to the dramatic intention of the movie by automated controls and hydraulic and pneumatic pumps.

A JBL theater speaker system is being installed and will soon be ready for acoustic tuning. The installation of the video projectors and screens will be completed over the next few days. When all of the equipment is installed the system will be controlled by a computer that will send out the control signals to engage the trigger of the 4D sensations. All of the effects that occur in the theater in synchronization with the film will provide a very engaging cinematic experience.

Project Showcase: Center for Cinematic and Digital Arts at Bangkok University

Center for Cinematic and Digital Arts (CCDA) is the department of Cinema and Cinematic Arts Center of Bangkok University. The center provides comprehensive educational services in the field of cinema, mainly specializing in a film production, the administration of film, and film studies. The emphasis is on nurturing expertise in these areas and to create a new generation of intelligent and creative thinking.

WGC Design Studio helped CCDA develop the acoustics and was instrumental in the construction material selection for all of the different studio types, including the wall materials, wall designs, floor materials, the shape of the rooms, the overall room acoustics, the patterns to reflect and absorb sound, the building isolation and environmental isolation.

The media complex has many studios that are located very close to each other and all have different properties for acoustics. These include film studios, recording studios, post production, theaters and a film stage. Each of these spaces have a specific type of acoustics, and WGC helped CCDA choose the right materials for each specific space and ensured that only the necessary materials required to achieve the goals were used.

We created acoustic simulations of what it would sound like and then we did testing and measurement as the facility was being constructed. When the project was completed we then issued an acoustics report with all the measurements and the performance data of each area and a comparison of the design intention and simulations.

Introducing our 2016 acoustic and audiovisual project

Aladdin City is coming to Dubai! WGC is honoured to take part in this amazing development as acoustic and audiovisual consultant. The project site is located in the historic Dubai Creek area, where wooden sailing boats still cross the river mouth and traders exchange goods in the souks. The new development will have three towers, comprising commercial and hotel space, with the towers spread over a distance of 450 metres on Dubai Creek. The project aims to retain the existing functions of related heritage shipping activities while promoting iconic buildings to stand as a unique bold landmark of the city.

Aladdin City Dubai.jpg


Façade lighting for Vinhomes Tran Dung Hung mixed-use project in Hanoi

WGC celebrates its first step in Vietnam after being appointed as façade lighting designer for Vinhomes Tran Dung Hung, a large-scale mixed-use development in Hanoi.  The project is expected to become the most luxurious complex in the city, consisting of a business center, apartments, offices and a hotel.  Dynamic façade lighting will feature two main towers of a five-star hotel and a residential apartment.

 

WGC appointed audiovisual designer for the ultra-luxury One&Only Resort in Bahrain

WGC, through its partnership with Meinhardt Dubai, proudly announces its role as audiovisual designer for One&Only Resort in Seef, Bahrain.  The resort, under the development of Kerzner International and Seven Holdings, is set to define ultra-luxury in Bahrain made perfect for both business and leisure.  The property features luxurious guest rooms, exclusive beachfront villas and private estates, the resort’s signature spa, world-class dining and high-end retail outlets including meeting facilities and easy accessibility.  It is scheduled to welcome guests this year.

Photo credit: oneandonlyresorts.com 

Photo credit: oneandonlyresorts.com 

WGC to add One Za’abeel to its residential portfolio

WGC was awarded the interior lighting design and acoustics design contract by Design Worldwide Partnership DMCC for the One Za’abeel Residential Apartments located at World Trade Centre roundabout, Dubai.

The project is a part of One Za’abeel mixed-use development under Investment Corporation of Dubai.  According to Mohammed Al Shaibani, Investment Corporation of Dubai CEO, the unique complex will be an ideal hub of business community of Dubai due to its numerous facilities of five-star hotel, high-end residential and commercial towers, and its strategic location between the old and the new district of Dubai on Sheikh Zayed Road.

Dear Architects: Sound Matters

An article on The New York Times written by the architecture critic Michael Kimmelman, touches on the very important topic that will motivate the design community to think about the acoustics dimension of architecture and its contribution to the overall experience of buildings or spaces. Often architects focus primarily on how the buildings will look like more than how they will 'sound' like.

Below are some powerful paragraphs taken from the article.

"...Nearly half a century ago, the critic Reyner Banham wrote “Architecture of the Well-Tempered Environment,” in which he meditated on how heat, air, light and materials create habitats that variously influence our experience of buildings. He stressed the fact that such environmental considerations should be “naturally subsumed into the normal working methods of the architect.”

To Banham’s list can be added sound. We talk admiringly about green or energy-efficient buildings, with roof gardens, cross-ventilation and stairways that encourage residents to walk, because good design can aspire to improve public health. But we don’t talk nearly enough about how sound in these buildings, and in all the other spaces we design, make us feel.

Acoustics can act in deep, visceral ways, not unlike music (think of the sound of an empty house). And while it’s sometimes hard to pin down exactly how, there is often a correlation between the function of a place or an object and the sound we expect it to make."

Please follow the link sound-architecture.html to read the full article. 

Showroom Specialist Lighting

IT IS ALL ABOUT BRAND IMAGE, PRESENTATION, COST EFFICIENCY.

Lighting designed for Mercedes Benz showroom facility on Lumpini, Bangkok reflects the brand’s image of modern luxury while supporting presentation concept of the world’s most influential automotive brand.

A lighting concept is designed to promote a showcase of the Mercedes-Benz dynamic range. The interplay of diffuse and directional light presents vehicles in a desirable way. Diffuse light lends clear lines to reflective car bodies. Accent lighting, on the other hand, sharpens details and suggests vehicle movement. Excellent color rendering enhances the natural appearance of high-quality car finishes and materials. Fine visibility of well-designed lighting accentuates body contours and special paint finishes and helps establish customer’s trust, which importantly leads to decision to buy.

A showroom facility can consume a lot of energy. Daylight-based lighting control systems are recommended to ensure significant energy saving.  Lighting solution such as the use of LED luminaires help to keep the cost of energy consumption and maintenance low.