The dim, ‘dark cave’ of Al Ghurair shopping centre, Dubai, has been brightened up drastically by the efforts of the Reynard Lighting Group. This was achieved without the centre being forced to close for a single day, and allows for a cleaner, more open feel throughout the entire building.
This was a refurbishment project designed to re-energise what originally appeared to be a dated interior space in Deria, Dubai. Before the project began, the interior had been described as a ‘cave’, and was far too dim to be suitable for the busy shopping centre. As such, the team from Reynard Lighting were called in with the expressed aim of increasing the lighting level on the floor by 50 percent within the existing available lighting loads. Instead of this, the group convinced the client that the desired effect – creating the ‘appearance and feeling of a greatly brighter, cleaner space’ – could be achieved without increasing existing light levels to the floor, but rather concentrating on the user’s total vista. They particularly emphasised light variation and more subtle contrasts between street, nodes and retail shop fronts.
They had to tackle the issue of not changing the MEP services network above the ceiling, which required the maintenance of the existing wiring and electrical equipment. The existing lighting and appearance of the streets and nodes was the main concern, due to the low ceilings, no possibility to introduce indirect solutions and direct glare produced by visible light sources within directional spots and downlights in the node spaces. The refurbishment, inclusive of new ceiling and interior finishes, was entirely completed without closing the building down at all The team also incorporated existing floors, retail tenants and outlet positions.
The system is made up of a variety of lights, including colour changing LED backlights, and mini downlights
The simple design philosophy was to increase the perceived brightness without creating any harsh or offensive glare. They focussed on a comfortable and subtle integration into the building, using several indirect solutions such as colour changes. The project was a great success, which the group largely attribute to their use of lighting to visually enhance the space provided. They also generated interior appreciation, as well as a clean, seamlessly co-ordinated design to fit with the existing constraints. This elegant solution to thee previous issue of darkness has also achieved an energy saving reduction of greater than 50 percent, as a result of the ‘energy efficient, excellent quality LED products’.