SLA Designers has been operating in Vietnam for five years. From a young company in this country, we have been facing many different situations in the façade lighting field through local projects. The experience of realistic collisions, of knowledge, of demonstration in this market makes us have some real thoughts that we are willing to share in this article for those who concern.
CURRENT STATUS IN VIETNAM
Lighting for the façade gets the most community concern in lighting design field applications. The reason for this is that façade lighting has a heavy impact on the nightscapes that define cities’ identity as a symbol of their reputation and for an attractive touristic image.
Image 1: Ben Thanh Market, a symbol of Saigon but not carefully designed in terms of facade lighting that creates an unprofessional look for the architecture
However, in some emerging markets like Vietnam, façade lighting is rarely handled by creative lighting designers, it is briefly designed by lighting solution providers who have to optimize their time for commercial reasons while answering the developers for outstanding ‘’ make-up’’ lighting.
We analyze the main reasons for that:
- No urban lighting strategic plans
- Over-bright designs requested by investors for standing-out reasons
- No advice for minimizing coming from lighting solutions providers
- LED dynamic technology becoming more affordable
- Wrong thinking that hiring professional lighting designers will cost more
Results from these reasons are repetitive designs, uncontrolled use of colors, light pollution, and at worst a fail installation because of a lack of maintenance issues assumptions. From the cities point of view, this combination of out-of-control lighting generates a messy vision of the city, while impacting the human and natural environment.
Image 2: An example of direct facade lighting misleading to highlight or bring value to the architecture
SLA DESIGNERS APPROACH OF FAÇADE LIGHTING
We are missioned by the clients and work with different lighting brands in order to find the best solutions that suit both the design and the budget. Also, we are responsible for the project finalization. Therefore, from the original concept until the final set up, we ensure the coordination between all parties involved in the lighting studies and installation.
In addition, as creative people, our expertise and skills bring more valuable and durable results for façade lighting:
- We take into account the project program and environment
- We know how to integrate lighting into the architecture to enhance it
- We create a unique design for each project, considering the branding identity, the type of building, etc…
- We anticipate maintenance process and cost operation, as practical access and weather conditions
- We advise on the perfect balance between design and budget, preferring to minimize the quantity than lower the quality
FINALLY, EVERYBODY WINS
It is important to understand that a mindset change is necessary on façade lighting topics because, in the end, all parties would find its interest:
- Firstly the investors because they will get a better result for the same budget
- The lighting brands and suppliers because they will avoid spending unpaid time to provide solutions that have to be reviewed, updated, and coordinated.
- We, as creative lighting designers because we can design projects that we are trained for many years to design.
- And finally, the cities because they will get a step by step improvement of their nightscape environment.
As creative lighting designers, SLA Designers has also the mission to inform and explain these new fields and the continuous evolution of the technology and impact on our environment. It is why we are glad to meet future city makers, developers, and urban thinkers to present our vision and discuss the possible evolution and proper way to evolve the nightscape together.
Writer: Cyril Lamy, Architect & Scenographer