Dernier & Hamlyn

Makers of custom lights can also make other things for you too!

  Fabbian Wing installation for Hong Kong airport

Have you ever stopped to think how many materials lights are made out of? Or about the skills of those manufacturers who can design and make unique objects, then light them, meeting technical regulations? Or how big some fittings are, that can only exist thanks to advanced mechanical and engineering abilities?

Now you have, I hope!

So now you can reflect on other things that they could make for you. This picture is of the reception area at 45 Park Lane.

Dernier & Hamlyn 45 Park Lane custom installation

You can see on the left a major art déco feature. Once it had been designed, nobody knew who could make it, until they thought of the great lighting experts, Dernier & Hamlyn.

We have been reminded of this by the latest press release from Fabbian. It features The Wing, designed by Foster + Partners for Hong Kong airport:

Fabbian Wing installation for Hong Kong airport 3

It is six metres long, 3.2 metres high, and weighs over eight tons. It is made up of twenty ultra-clear glass blades, all shaped differently. They are decorated with engravings that are illuminated by LEDs hidden in the base.

Practical issues that had to be overcome included dealing with this very concentrated weight, given that the airport floor had limited strength. So a special base had to be designed that also houses the light sources -- that also had to be easy to transport and service, whilst being beautiful to look at!

Fabbian Wing installation for Hong Kong airport 2

Now, The Wing is lit, but so would almost any major installation be. The point is that the technical skills to make it possible are exceptional, and the next time they are applied, it will be to something completely different -- maybe to something that you've had in mind for a long time; you now have the client and the budget, but you don't know who can turn your idea into three dimensional reality....

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Value for Money when Purchasing for Hotels: postscript -- How to Purchase for Hotels, Wasting No Time, Avoiding the Pitfalls (and Having Fun!)

Dernier & Hamlyn 45 park lane art deco column This is so basic and obvious that I'm almost embarrassed to write it down. Also, unlike the rest of this briefing, it is about us -- Cameron Peters Fine Lighting -- and what we, uniquely, can do for you.

Unfortunately, though, it does not fit in with how most interior designers like to work, so we've not been able to put it into practice until now. But it is how we are currently approaching the refurbishment of a chain of three star hotels in the UK, and we are also about to apply it to the decorative lighting package of a five star hotel in the Middle east.

So, what is "it"?

This is all it is.

At an early stage in the development of the concepts, the designer responsible for FF&E spends a day with us, going through every possible sensible source for the decorative lighting. It is an enjoyable -- even exciting -- day, a stress-free hour from Paddington, in a listed building in an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, with a good pub across the field, past the lake. And there is Holly, the cutest Company Dog....

The designer goes away with the catalogue and price lists for the shortlist of makers who are appropriate to the project. She knows that she can specify from them with confidence. She has all the detailed info she needs, so she won't be held up trying to find out colours, finishes, sizes, lamps, prices, lead times....

The range of sources that she has chosen from is far wider than would otherwise be available to her, partly because we know more about more lighting makers than anybody else does, and partly because suppliers can get stereotyped. Even suppliers that she thinks she knows well --with whom she may have worked before -- may be able to exceed her expectations of what they can do, or of the price points that they can meet. Lighting makers can get stereotyped as easily as actors can.

As an example, Dernier & Hamlyn is well known and highly respected as a source of bespoke lighting for luxury projects. But would you have thought of turning to them to create the magnificent art deco column in the foyer of 45 Park Lane, shown at the top of this section? By taking a really deep interest in lighting makers, we learn things about them that would not otherwise be found out.

It is not that all the makers will be perfect: it is more than we can warn the designer about the problems that might occur with each one, so that they can be factored in.

The other result of the day is that we understand the approach that she wants to adopt, the look she is going for, and any other issues specific to the project. This understanding means that we can make relevant suggestions whenever she needs something outside the range of catalogues from which she is working.

We are also deliberately addressing value for money at this early stage, so that it is built in to all the specifying decisions. As an obvious illustration, we select suppliers that offer good value for money and, by maximizing the number of  items from each supplier, we can increase the likelihood of quantity discounts.

Then, by explaining to the selected manufacturers what is happening, we will get much more cooperation from them. This can be very practical: for example, they may be prepared to convert lights into emergency lights, which they would not do if it was just an isolated request.

But I'm making "it" sound more complicated than it is! All I'm really saying is: choose suitable suppliers and order standard items from their catalogues. The saving in time and stress will be dramatic, and most of the problems that I've identified in this series of posts will be easily avoided!

Oh, and it will also be more enjoyable for all concerned. Not only will stressful situations be avoided, but since light makers are usually small family companies located in nice places (e.g. Barcelona, Copenhagen, Venice, Florence, Paris, the Loire Valley, Vienna, Munich), they will get personally involved in the project. It'll be more efficient -- aiding communication and speeding things up -- to visit their workshops (in those nice places) and understand what they can do....

Specifying lighting can be -- should be -- great fun!

Note: this series of posts builds up into a single Briefing, a PDF of which is downloadable here: A Briefing on Value for Money when Purchasing for Hotels.

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