Portal Aqwa, Brazil

Portal Aqwa, Brazil

EVENT: Best Creative Lighting Event

Portal Aqwa

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Casa Cor Rio

Lighting Design:
LD Studio /  Diana Joels / Flavio Berman, Brazil


Portal AQWA is a temporary lighting installation that occupies an iconic yet unoccupied office building – Aqwa Corporate – designed by Foster+Partners, in the up-and-coming harbour area of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Our clients – building owner Tishman Speyer and interior design event CASA COR Rio – invited us to create a night scene with the aim of drawing attention to the building and adding life to its façade, on the occasion of this temporary event. 

Hosting an interior design exhibition, the CASA COR show occupied the ground floor, lobby and penthouse. An office model on the 9th floor provided the visitors an idea of the internal spaces, as well as access for the stunning 360 degrees view from the bay and city. All other floors of the building remained empty and untreated interiorly. 

After a profound analysis of the project – including clients profile and desires, architectural characteristics, the immediate and surrounding areas, major appreciation view points along with the visitors experience – we understood the importance of the building being located in a transitional point, between the recently renovated area of the “new harbour” – a re-qualified and lively public space marked by the gigantic and colourful street art panels by artist Kobra – and the remaining and yet to be occupied “old harbour”, with its grey buildings and empty streets. 

The architectural shape led us into treating the building as a gate (portal) and its intrinsic movement was interpreted as a directional strength from the colourful urban space towards the area to be developed. 

If the transparency of the building was key for the possibility of creating a lighting composition that filled it with light, the specular character of the same material was crucial to express the necessity of respecting the existing life in the city. 

In the end, we had one colourful facade shining from within and creating a flow of light and positivity towards the other facade, which established a dialogue with its surrounding, adding a new layer of movement, with a positive and flourishing flow. 

The achieved lighting composition was created with temporary lighting equipment: RGB LEDs in a static composition for the colourful façade and with a dynamic movement for the opposite. The lateral façades were lit with sodium lamps, which merged perfectly in terms of colour with the two compositions connected through them, and also with the urban skyline, when viewed from a distance.