For a project of this scale, the lighting must be exciting yet unified and provide moments in time and space that work as catalysts for interaction and community. Given the diverse programmatic requirements of this project, designing and executing elements that provide a “visual stitch” became an important directive for design development. The architecture provided us enough materiality and massing that the lighting design “stitch” element was generated through a consistent approach of lighting the arches on the facade.
This project is located in the Flora Fountain area of Fort, Mumbai. The 111-year-old Edwardian Neo-Classical building was once owned by the Ismail Yusuf Trust and formerly housed banks and offices. The building now houses the retail giant Zara, covering 5 floors and a total of 51,300 square feet. We developed a lighting design that balances conservation concerns related to the heritage facade with clear aesthetic goals. The lighting design solution is one where poetic romanticism goes hand in hand with practicality; where function meets the emotional characteristics of this Neo-Classic building and the details are highlighted and subtly integrated. This was achieved by seamlessly integrating the lighting hardware into the historical architecture of the facade to maximize the visual impact at night while minimizing any visible hardware during the day. We endeavored to bring back the grandeur of the structure by highlighting Neo-Classical identities and geometric forms that run throughout the facade.
The elements of the building, such as the columns and the cornices, are all lit like individual actors on a stage playing to a poignant script. The properties of contrast were utilized to highlight the actors of this heritage building. Each floor has been treated with appropriate fixtures for different elements, and the light levels and distribution were composed together to achieve a harmonious balance. To ensure the project was installed per specifications, we developed a series of stringent lighting installation guidelines for the local context. These guidelines outlined how to mount the lights on the heritage building, the wiring, the location of drivers, and the correct fixture wattage, the lenses, and the exact mounting angles required on each level. We tested the guidelines with various mockups to ensure each level met design goals before final installation began. As the final step, we were on site with the construction team during the final installation, working to ensure the guidelines were followed and that the design met the client’s goals.