Sainsbury's Digital Hub © Casey Photography

By Oscar Lee

In July 2015, I was appointed to be the head of our Lighting Design team in Hong Kong.  With nine years of previous experience in lighting design and fresh out of taking a year out to study a master degree of Lighting Design and LED technology at Politecnico di Milano in Italy, one of the things that attracted me to this role was Cundall asked for me to spend five months working alongside the global Lighting Design Director Andrew Bissell and the team in the UK.

I jumped at the chance, Andrew is known in the industry for his innovative approach to lighting design that combines aesthetically pleasing spaces that are functional and energy efficient.  He has contributed to a number of publications which I had read and enjoyed.  He and his team have been recognised at a number of industry awards the most recent being the LUX Awards for their work on Sainsbury’s Digital Hub.  So after five months of spending time with the team and working on projects from across the globe these are a few things I have learnt.

  1. You can make something very functional beautiful! – Cundall Light4 was appointed to provide the lighting design for the three earth tubes adjacent to the new Co-operative Group office at 1 Angel Square in Manchester. The earth tubes are part of the air intakes natural ventilation system that draws through 50,000 litres of air per second. Innovative lighting design has transformed this space to an exciting public realm area.  The 28,000 LED can be programmed to mark occasions through the year. For example on Remembrance Day, poppies were displayed as a mark of respect to the armed forces who have died in the line of duty.
  2. Lighting design can reflect a company’s ethos – At Sainsbury’s Digital Hub, the lighting design took its inspiration from Blade Runner and 2001: A Space Odyssey. The concept captured the high tech, purposeful and deliberate lighting effects and shapes from those films. Reflecting the high tech innovative work the team based in the office does.
  3. Client satisfaction results in repeat business – My first two Hong Kong projects are both with clients Cundall has previously worked with elsewhere in the world. The first a confidential financial institute we have worked with in Sydney and Melbourne, the second is T Rowe Price which we have worked with in both London and Singapore. By delivering excellent service, creative designs and being proactive designers; clients, architects and project managers think of Cundall when they are choosing Lighting Designers, a trend I plan to continue in the Asian market.
  4. How to create energy efficient lighting – If you want to create a truly energy efficient space, you must go beyond specifying the most efficient bulbs. The Light4 team had a great opportunity to demonstrate this when designing the fit-out of their Birmingham office.  They were able to design solutions that improved the visual environment and significantly reduced energy consumption. This included only putting the lighting where it is needed which in turn provides excellent cylindrical lighting on faces (enabling effective video-conferencing from desks) and avoids unnecessary corridor lighting.  The lighting solution included for daylight dimming and absence detection resulting in an energy usage of 4.25 watts/m².

So as I start in the Hong Kong office, and launch our Light4 department in Asia, I look forward to applying the knowledge here in Asia and continuing to work with the Light4 team on the projects around the world.

To find out more about Cundall’s Lighting Design service click here.

Image pictured above Sainsbury’s Digital Hub © Casey Photography

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Lighting Design, Oscar Lee, Working at Cundall


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