In the heart of the urban jungle of Manila’s Makati Central Business district, with
the luxury residential enclave of Balmori Suites, is a lush, green multi-events space that doubles as a nursery for the Rockwell Powerplant Development.

Flanked on all sides by tall, concrete buildings, the 7th-storey garden serves as a verdant oasis among the glass and steel that surrounds it.

The idea for the tent to be surrounded by a garden that doubled as a nursery for the entire Balmori Suites – a luxury residential tower, was conceptualised by Tong Padilla, President of Rockwell Land Inc, while plants were handpicked by Jun Obrero. Lighting for this unique garden space was designed by Christine Sicagno Lighting Design. Despite a limited budget, the lighting design inside the tent was very flexible to accommodate the different activities and events expected to be held in the space. The lighting blurs the indoor and outdoor spaces, extending the feel of the space and enhancing the feeling of being in a large garden in the midst of a built-up city.

Surface mounted tracks are installed on the trusses of the tent as unobtrusively as possible, making the tracks look as if they are natural extensions ofthe trusses them selves. A selection of dimmable track lights from Endo Lighting, with varying beam spreads of narrow, medium, and wide flood were specified. The beam spread, position, and light intensity was carefully selected and installed depending on the occasion required at the tent, giving some much-needed flexibility to the space.

The wider landscape lighting used a majority of medium beam, stake-mounted lights that were carefully and strategically installed so as to minimise and hide glare as much as possible.

Light sources have been carefully hidden as much as possible among the plants, with each fixture fitted with a hood/snoot to further reduce glare.

Performance in Lighting’s Maxi Solar Lights were also used to light the path walks, providing low, ambient lighting.

“It was very important to blur the boundaries between the indoor and the outdoors with the use of lighting,” says Sicagno. “To be able to enjoy the outdoors, especially when one is surrounded by greenery in the middle of the tall concrete buildings, while being inside an air-conditioned tent, is such a luxury. To enjoy a tropical garden in the middle of the Central Business District at night, surrounded by the tall office and residential towers is quite an experience.”

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