Enlightenment Magazine: Contemporary VillasQ:  What is the role of light in the design?

A:  In these structures, the architect takes Nature as a design partner. Light is a key element in these residences. Window walls don’t just invite views of nature, but make the environment a part of the architectural design. While a huge volume of natural light is glorious, it presents its own problems for the interior designer.

Q:  What are some of those challenges?

A:  Since controlling natural light is a prime concern, shades or blinds and draperies are important. They must open and close easily because weather conditions in some parts of the world change quickly (from snow to sleet, rain, thunderstorm, to sunshine) throughout the day. Another key concern is that natural light doesn’t always reach the far recesses of a room, leaving them dark. These areas must be properly lit and balanced with daylight. This is done with more – not less – artificial light. The interiors in Contemporary Villas do this by layering a variety of lighting techniques (direct and indirect) and fixtures (ceiling fixtures and sconces, plus floor and table lamps). Continue Reading

Q: What aesthetic role do the lighting fixtures play?

A:  For the most part, you will not see many “drop dead gorgeous” lighting fixtures in these interiors. Instead they are, for the past part, unobtrusive because architecture is the focus. You won’t see many tablelamps as you would in traditional décor; these interiors are not about objects. The emphasis is on the room as a whole and a sense of unity. This oneness between environment, structure, and interior design creates a mood of great serenity.

Q: Does that mean the lighting fixtures are nondescript?

A:   Not at all! The architects of these residences demand the highest quality design and materials in the lighting fixtures, which serve as beautiful architectural details. It’s just that even the “Hey look at me” fixtures – and there are a few –are chosen with great discretion.

Q: So, lighting’s role is fairly low-key?

A:  Over a 24-hour period, and depending on one’s vantage point, lighting is either a bit player or a super star. Well-planned lighting is highly functional and a mood-maker indoors. When seen from the exterior at night, lighting becomes a megastar! It highlights the architectural design and transforms these structures into magical places.