Enhancing the lobby experience part 1 - The magic of lighting

First impressions are everything!

When entering the lobby of a building for the first time, the feeling one has defines their experience of that space from that moment on. It reflects the owner’s brand, the architect’s vision and often what the tenants want their customers to encounter as they enter. This should be memorable.

Increasingly, lobbies are not just places that you pass through – they are bustling hubs of social and business activity. Lobbies are meeting spaces, working spaces and even dwelling spaces. Yet, too often these lobbies are almost one dimensional and lack atmosphere and the exceptional experiences they could potentially offer.

Until now…

Up until now the experience in most lobbies has relied on the architecture itself or the use of traditional paintings or large scale murals. The odd immersive installation exists however our study of the lobby space in Australian cities compared to their overseas counterparts produced surprising results – most of them are dull!

The increasing acceptance and deployment of public art is creating a new type of gallery – the lobby. Asset managers, architects and those responsible for the lobby aesthetic are now realising the potential of this space. It is early days however we are starting to see some pretty impressive installations on a global scale and one by one these are creeping into the Australian landscape.

Custom lighting features are one of the ways to create something delightful (pardon the pun). The introduction of creative and immersive lighting installations into the lobby space can evoke an entire differently kind of atmosphere and one that literally delights its occupants. Whether the lobby is a commercial, residential space or hotel there is a growing desire for something special.

The inclusion of lighting features if executed well will encourage users to dwell in lobby spaces which can turn them into bustling hubs of social activity.

In this article we have handpicked some fascinating examples of lighting in various forms that can be designed specifically for lobbies to introduce a little magic and create a space that people can interact with.

There are many types of lighting features such as sculptural, experiential, projection, neon and site specific. The examples we are showing you here are some that we have designed and delivered along with others from all corners of the globe as our curators have been looking for best in class examples of stunning light use.

Some of these are in lobbies and some of them are installations in galleries that could be adopted for use in lobbies. Either way we hope they inspire you.

Introducing bespoke custom lighting features has the ability to hugely differentiate a lobby and what makes this even better is when the installation takes into account historical or contextual relevance. There needs to be a story behind the feature and this narrative is what sets spaces apart for the user.

From a planning perspective, lighting features should be included in the design process early on so that they can be integrated into the architecture and not be placed as an after-thought. The ability is there for these immersive installations to take centre stage as seen in the project below.

We have entered a new age with lighting features and the use of LEDs and the future of the lobby will be better off as a result.

The Blueprint is a specialist design and delivery firm that curates and builds custom features for clients that create engaging experiences. With offices in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Shanghai and Los Angeles and a team of 25 staff we take concepts from ideation through to implementation.