Susan Lake Lighting Design designed a lighting scheme for Aukett Swanke’s Sleep Set, a conceptual hotel room for the Sleep Event, an international hotel design event held in London. The brief to Aukett Swanke for the Sleep Set was to design a space for a ‘Sensation Orientated’ guest. This type of guest or ‘tribe’ was identified by research carried out by the Sinus Institute in Germany, which recognised alternative customer segmentation based on lifestyle and values as opposed to income and age group. Aukett Swanke interpreted the sensation orientated guest to be potentially not a high earner but one who spends a significant amount of their income on travel.

The perception is that the Sensation Orientated guest identifies closely with subcultures and tends to travel, usually in a group, to undertake alternative activities such as adventure sports, music festivals and other large experience-driven events. The sensation orientated guest considers travel to be their real life, not an escape from it. But for them, the room itself becomes an escape and a completely immersive experience.

In addition to a sleeping and bathroom area, a third space has been created as a social space, where people can congregate within the room. To create this Aukett Swanke based the design on ideas of landscaping, terracing and amphitheatres to create a stage within the room to allow the guest to themselves create a ‘performance’ within the room through their own interaction with it.

The lighting scheme is based on the concept of creating the “immersive experience” for the guest. This has been achieved by developing a unified lighting and interior design scheme, in which the lighting compliments and emphasises the form of the space whilst creating an inviting and relaxing environment for the guest.

Lighting has a significant impact on our sensory perception of a space for the simple reason that we have more sensory receptors in our eyes than in any other part of our body. And this impact becomes evident just by raising or lowering the brightness levels in any space we are occupying. In order to achieve a soft, engulfing environment the lighting has been integrated into the interior details to conceal the light source allowing only the light effect to be visible. This creates a subtle and considered design that allows the guest’s visual sense to fully immerse in their surroundings without any disturbance from glare. Throughout the bedroom and social space linear LED has been integrated into the wall cavity at floor level to wash light up the walls. All of the walls in the room consist of two layers of a fine mesh which appears slightly transparent at close proximity, and more opaque from further away. This fluidity and constantly changing effect created by the moiré patterns generated by the two layers of mesh, allows your visual perception of the wall surface to change as you change your viewing position within the room. The concealed linear LED lighting within the depth of the wall, transforms the layers of mesh from a simple finish into an interactive experience.

A slightly brighter environment has been created in the social area, with linear LED concealed under the bench to cast light onto the floor, whilst the bedroom area is darker and more intimate. Through the use of an indirect linear LED creating a soft halo of light around the perimeter of the sunken bed, the bed itself becomes a feature which allows the guest to feel cocooned and embraced with light, whilst thin bedside pendants symbolise icicles dripping down from the roof of a cave.

The steps from the social space to the bedroom continue to form a sculptural multifunctional piece of furniture taking inspiration from rock formations in the landscape. This concept was reinforced by the use of lighting. Linear LED lighting was integrated into the steps and under the furniture piece to create glowing panels in between the dark edges of the staggered floor planes.

To further enhance their experience, the guest can actually control the lighting to create different light scenes appropriate to the time of day. The controls allow them to adjust the different layers of light to suit their mood, like creating a fresh environment in the morning and a warm environment in the evening. But beyond being able to create mood lighting, the guest can also change the colour of the artificial lighting to mimic daylight, allowing their visual sense to adjust to a new time zone if they have travelled internationally. This technology can be used by the guest to alter their circadian rhythm by, for instance, matching the colour of the lighting to the daylight at the hotel’s location or matching the light to the daylight of the time zone they have travelled from, which can help to reduce their jetlag.

In the bathroom, the focus has been on highlighting the different finishes and feel, creating a contrasting experience to the main space lighting. This allows the guest to become absorbed in another immersive environment. The jewel-like cave inspired bathroom with reflective faceted walls and reflective ceiling and floor creates a kaleidoscopic effect, emphasised with the use of small delicate point source lighting which reflects on all the surrounding surfaces amplifying the jewel cave concept.

The success of the scheme is down to a true collaboration between Susan Lake Lighting Design and Aukett Swanke. Through this collaboration, SLLD was able to create a lighting design that perfectly demonstrates how light itself has the ability to totally transform the atmosphere of the space it is illuminating.

Credits: Susan Lake Lighting Design

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