The lighting project of the Hamad International Airport Lounges of Qatar Airways in Doha was a very long process but the result was rewarding. From the first concept sketches on the first renders in 2007 until the completion in 2015, this lighting project had been extremely challenging, due to its large scale, complexity and demanding characteristics.
Citterio and Viel Architects conceived the Airport Lounges not only as a place for short permanence, but a whole node of activities accommodating guests from all over the world and offering an experience of the local tradition.
In such a complex layout, lighting is also fundamental for delivering identity, creating different atmospheres and guiding the guest along the sequence of spaces.
For enhancing orientation through light, besides the ordinary way-finding signs, the lighting scheme included the illumination of the boundaries of the space; grazing light on the 16 meters high stone walls created an illuminated narrative that enclose the various Lounges and meeting points.
All downlights were studied to prevent glare and being much integrated with the ceiling structures, so that the light source resulted invisible, adding drama on the illuminated objects and materials, such as water features or sculpture-like desks.
The Qatar Airways lounges have a different material palette that the lighting project followed and celebrated in different ways: grazing light on surfaces, integrated light in millwork features or in the walls other than the ceiling, diffuse light through decorative lamps, interplay of shadows, contrast and transparencies.
This Airport Lounges lighting project represented an extremely demanding process that owes its success to the tight collaboration with the architect and the client.
From the earliest beginning, the process included participating in numerous mockups, in studio and on site, countless meetings and tests alongside with all the technical aspects and requirements that light had to serve, always keeping in mind the resulting atmosphere.
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