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Left Hakkasan Terrace’s distinctive blue lighting, by Nulty+, is housed in a small, vertical reveal at the back of The Cabanas Hotel in Abu Dhabi, adding to the ambience while reinforcing Hakkasan’s identity


FOCUS 059


keen to find. Much of the population has been subjected to the same method of working and, as a result of this, the need for working lounges, semi-private meeting rooms or break out areas – all within hospitality spaces – will be big business.


Tere has been a total shift in how we respond to individual environments. Video conferencing is leading the way, and the background on a person’s zoom call is now a window into who they are as an individual. Many of us are now more aware of this and, moving forward, we will want to communicate our backgrounds with whoever we are having a conversation with. It’s now part of our own brand package as meeting rooms and formal workspaces have been irrelevant for a year. Working remotely but having a window into an environment will push brands harder to create spaces that are synonymous with their identity.


‘Reigniting the flame of social interaction could be a hard sell for the hospitality industry. When lockdowns are eased, what’s the likelihood that we will all rush back into hotel bars and bustling restaurants?’


Hospitality brands will start to focus on these backdrops and the individual will want others to know that they’re working from a high-end space, whether it’s the Four Seasons hotel lobby or the bar at Te Ivy. Te lighting industry is going to have a greater responsibility in bringing the aesthetic out of these spaces. Considered holistic lighting will be key, and we will need to implement different levels of light to create a professional backdrop for the guest. Diffused light and front-facing lighting will be key in illuminating the backgrounds, while cylindrical lighting will enable good facial recognition. A base layer of light from pendants or downlights will be needed, but the backbone of lighting will need to be subdued and pared back to provide the right layer of light to communicate the brand. We don’t want to prescribe light fittings for the sake of it; instead, we want to define, for the user, what their brand is and what they’re trying to say. How will the space be used? Who do they want to cater for? As lighting designers, we will need to listen more to the needs of the client post- Covid as they push for a more flexible environment. But, ultimately, if people can tell where you are just from your video conferencing background then that’s all brands will want to hear.


Left London’s The Ned restaurant boasts a lighting scheme by Nulty+ that focuses on surface-mounted, decorative and ornate fixtures rather than


contemporary and recessed lighting techniques – but still provides a balanced level of light and colour temperature to suit all times of day


It has always been our mission as lighting designers to connect people with places, but as the hospitality industry seeks to bring people back into their environments, the way these spaces look and interact with the public is what will determine their success. Working, social and relaxation experiences are no longer separate entities. Tis rigidity has fallen away with the pandemic as we now want to be able to pull out a laptop in the same space where we might be having a beer with friends or colleagues. It’s all about options and accessibility moving forward, and so flexibility is key. Lighting is a beautiful solution in creating adaptable spaces, and the hospitality sector is going to depend on it like never before. nultylighting.co.uk


SIMON BROWN


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