Friday 20 May 2011


Award banner

The project was developed as an integral part of the architectural concept, thus lighting is inter woven within the spatial development in response to three different requirements, technical, aesthetical and budget.

The architectural design, maximized the glazed surfaces opting for an integration of the landscape, therefore the lighting design took into account day light contribution in all spaces, this lead the project into a control system that allowed for dynamic light levels adjustments, due to changing day light conditions. Dimmable fluorescents were the norm in most cases, and LED strip lights were sought after for a warmer or cooler effect in some niche applications. Light was used in the design to define, confine, and split individual planes, vertical as well as horizontal, ergo this is used as a hinge that allowed the perception of planes floating separate from one another and gave the space a sense of brightness.

Accent down-lights were used as emphasis on entrance thresholds, along circulation axis, as well as to reinforce the visual focal points that are defined as a location for future placement of art pieces. In all cases halogen was the selected source, with variable aperture, and under the control of a general dimming system, allowing for a seamless integration with the indirect and decorative lighting. The design opted for a minimal approach in the use of point sources and ergo indirect sources were preferred in most cases.

The landscape lighting was very important, since it allowed for the elongation of the internal space into the exterior, therefore down lighting was used on the terrace, in order to produce a higher or equal light level in this space, as well as the one currently in the interior, reducing the amount of glare and reflection of the glass, as seen from the interior, and allowing the expansion of the views into the garden as well as the terrace. The individual architectural masses were grouped or floated over the continuous terrace, the lighting under the terrace overhang reinforced the perception of a floating plane, accent spotlights were placed on the perimeter of the property allowing for a visual boundary to be defined, and up lights defined the trees within the property. However since most of the views expand over the limit of the property, additional lighting was placed within the boundary in order to provide emphasis on those third plane trees, creating a multilayer effect. Landscape lighting consist mostly of LED sources, with a few discharge lamps for the distant elements.

Control is defined per zone within the house, and allows for multi scene settings, some of the scenes are automatically deployed at certain dates and times, to make the house respond to the required lighting need. Motion and heat sensors are used to avoid the deployment of a lighting scene when due to occupancy in the space and when light is not required.

The daylight factors have been addressed with brise-solei, constructed out of etched low-e glass, fixed on moveable hinges, that allow the adjustment to provide direct, semi-direct or indirect lighting in the atrium, therefore maximizing the use of the sunlight, and avoiding the undesired components, ultraviolet and infrared radiation. Since these elements have a matt finish, indirect lighting is provided in order to have them be a defining architectural element for the space.

Jaime Varon, Abraham Metta, Alex Metta / MIGDAL ARQUITECTOS

Migdal Arquitectos