Lighting design writes an evocative script for the Rosewood Hotel Bangkok, crafting the group’s iconic “Sense of Place” in the cultural heart of Thailand. The hotel unfolds as a story into which each guest is invited: this is the grand estate of a young and well-travelled Thai couple, whose worldly tastes and Siam roots define each detail. From space to space, by spotlighting design elements and harmonizing with architectural gestures, meticulously selected lighting fixtures and illumination strategies preserve the integrity of this tale.

The story begins at the hotel entrance, where an opulent atmosphere is achieved through a low-level lighting strategy that accentuates the intricate decorative wall while giving its shadowed patterns room to hint at mystery. Warm colour temperatures settle the soul into residential comfort. Downlights paint a visual focal point on a sculpture spelling the traditional Thai gesture “wai” — an ancient salutation with spiritual roots. Warm lighting continues to offer this cozy sense of homecoming uninterrupted into the lobby and lounge, inviting visitors further into intimate hallways, bringing sentimentality to the art collections through restrained illumination. At last, light gently leads to individual rooms, where decorative floor and table lighting are prioritized over ceiling fixtures in order to preserve the atmosphere of being in a private, comfortably appointed guest room. These decorative fixtures are fully adjustable, allowing the atmosphere to accommodate both the pleasure traveller and the business executive.

Decorative lighting is the expressive narrator throughout each chapter in the story. This was the reigning challenge in the lighting design of Rosewood Bangkok: achieving contrast and balance between the different expressions of lighting, based on use of decorative versus architectural light, in the night versus the day, and in each space. Rhythm running, scene setting and colour shifting were instrumental tools applied throughout, and the varied interior expressions, playing between modern and old world elegance, are all in fact achieved by LED lighting in a tightly controlled technical system. Two key design directives were to firstly arrange accessible lighting in the rooms, which could most directly impact the guests on an emotional level, and be adjusted by them to suit their mood. Secondly, we were delighted to collaborate with the Czech design company Lasvit in designing custom glass pendants for the lobby and boardroom, using crystal, glass, and high-polish elements to refract and reflect light through space to achieve a lavish, luxurious atmosphere. Accommodating this quantity of decorative pendants and chandeliers in a commercial-use hospitality structure presented another spatial problem-solving challenge in avoiding construction pipelines in this project.

As the Rosewood guest experience unfolds, from dramatic terraces overlooking the glittering city lights of Bangkok to the indulgent calm of the spa lounge, lighting plays a deft host, preparing the scene for maximal enjoyment whether by night or by day. Upon exiting the elevator on the seventh floor, guests step into the sky lobby and are welcomed into a glittering ballroom, evoked by the dancing lights of a dazzling, domed chandelier: another chapter begins.

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