Light IQ and Zaha Hadid Architects collaborate with high end make up brand Il Makiage.
Zaha Hadid Architect's design of the pavilion called for fully concealed and integrated lighting and it was decided earlier in the project to utilise the main inner frame of the structure as the main lighting source for the space within. This would not only create a beautiful 'shadow-less' effect as required by the bran but also provide maximum integration of the lighting without disruption to the architectural envelope.
As for the colour, we had to go through an intensive period of tests and mock ups with several colour temperatures ranging from 3000K to 5700K. In the end, the chosen white was the most appropriate for the location of the pavilion (indoors with reduced natural light) and for the illumination of the products and customers trying the cosmetics.
A number of concepts and products and mocked them up to achieve our design intent. The final solution comprised LED tape that was used to back light an opal diffuser with specific qualities to ensure there were no shadows or dark areas.
The back lighting of the structural elements provides sufficient lighting to the make-up displays and mirrors. There is supplementary lighting in the form of spots or ‘accents’ to the merchandise displays and product shelves, which were required to visually increase the contrast in the product displays and maximise illuminance.
The pavilion is also softly washed from the side (near the window of the store) to reveal the shape and form of the structure after dark. A small theatrical control system using DMX was utilised to dim the lighting to visually comfortable levels, while retaining high levels of illuminance on the merchandise (around 1,200 lx).
The pavilion design was conceived in London, assembled in Austria (Graz) and shipped to New York. The lighting design had to consider this sequence of events since day 1 as the products to be used had to be available and fully certified in two different continents. Light IQ had to carefully select from a limited palette of lighting products that were suitable to this process.
The final pavilion project in New York's Soho (apart from being the first prototype of several pavilions to be built) is a real success given the complexity of the design, timescales, logistics and architectural design. The lighting truly brings the structure alive, creating a dramatic environment for the display of the cosmetic products whilst providing the most flattering light for make-up with virtually no shadows vertically or horizontally.
All images © Paul Warchol / Zaha Hadid Architects 2018