LD Studio were recently commissioned to create the façade lighting for the famed and much-loved Copacabana Palace Hotel in Rio de Janeiro. Tryka was the sole manufacturer specified for the project, providing an array of solutions. Here, the lead architect for the project, renowned architect Monica Luz Lobo, shares her story with Tryka.
Tell us a bit about yourself and where it all began…
Following my degree in Architecture and Urbanism, I started my career as a lighting designer at a practice in São Paulo. In 1997, I founded LD Studio, performing as an independent Lighting Designer; responsible for architectural lighting projects with a wide range of sectors, including cultural, commercial, public and private.
I am a founding member of the Brazilian Association of Lighting Architects (As-BAI) and a professional member of the IALD (International Association of Lighting Designers). I was elected to the IALD Board of Directors in 2017/2018.
I’m also a member of the international committee of EILD (Ibero American Meeting of Lighting Designers), and in December 2017, became the 1st Certified Lighting Designer in South America.
I love participating in national and international fairs and workshops, it is a great opportunity to learn and share knowledge.
How did you become involved in the project?
LD Studio has been a longstanding lighting partner of the hotel, dating back to the year 2000. We have kept the relationship strong even with several changes in hotel ownership, and we are very proud of the partnership we have developed with the hotel.
When the current owner decided to recreate the façade lighting as part of the hotel’s centenary celebrations, LD Studio was the only consideration to deliver this exhilarating and landmark project.
What were some of the elements of the brief that excited you as a designer?
Everyone who comes to Rio, as either a Brazilian or an international traveller, knows that the Copacabana Palace Hotel is a must-see location. To be part of a team that has the knowledge and expertise to ensure the hotel is still relevant and young but remains true to its history and iconic status is an incredibly exciting journey.
What challenges did the brief involve and how did you resolve these?
The main constraint was the short deadline that we had to work within. For such a large-scale project, having just over 12 months from start to finish meant we had to work quickly and fluidly. We would usually work within a set process that moves from analysis to concept and composition, then technical drawings, before site tests and more. But to ensure we met the deadline, we had to work in a non-linear way.
One of the key ways we could achieve our goal was to work with partners who understood this challenge and were ready to meet it head-on with us. The outcome and the fact we met the deadline shows what can be achieved when everyone shares the same passion and works together harmoniously.
Talk us through some of the key lighting principles involved in your answer to the brief.
It was important to find the balance of showcasing the Copacabana Palace Hotel in all its beauty while respecting its history and importance on the much-loved Rio beachfront. The hotel is an absolute icon; everyone who passes by recognises it, and the city is so proud of its presence.
The project has been carefully designed so that the building can be appreciated as much at night as it can be in the day. The lighting highlights details and special elements of the building, revealing them with softness and elegance. By using the best technologies, combined together in a considered design, we have been able to show the hotel’s real soul.
Why did you choose to specify Tryka’s products to fulfil the vision? Which products did you specify and what were their applications?
It was important that we worked with a manufacturer who was as passionate about the project as we are. We also wanted to find a partner whom we could secure all the required lighting solutions from as this enabled us to build a meaningful relationship with a sole supplier.
The illumination of the façade has been delivered using a combination of Tryka’s Stripline45, Stripline AG, Aura 5, Aura 7 and Continuity T. Custom glare shields were designed by Tryka for the Stripline and Aura solutions, and these have been finished in a custom RAL. The fixtures match the shade of the refreshed façade, and this approach has allowed us to ensure the light is seen, not the source.
Another key deciding factor for collaborating with Tryka was their ability to provide a wide variety of luminaires that are RGB+27K. This was a vital part of the specification, and Tryka was the only manufacturer that could provide the 2700K needed for the white channel in conjunction with the required RGB outputs.
What were your inspirations for your chosen design?
We wanted to deliver a design that stayed true to the heart of the hotel and its original architecture but added a touch of disruption that reveals an innovative soul. The lighting is all about communicating with visitors, whether that is through the illumination of the details of the building, or aligning the colours and themes with national and international events, the hotel is now firmly an important part of the beating pulse of Rio.
The dynamic lighting has been achieved through the installation of a control system that allows the façade to be lit in different colours. From important dates such as Pink in October for Breast Cancer Awareness, to international celebrations including Christmas and New Year, the façade of the Copacabana Palace Hotel can connect with individuals and the wider world, by delivering positive messages.
Are there any elements of the design that you are most proud of?
That light could bring soul to what it touches and be a source of communication.
If you could summarise this project in one sentence, what would it be?
Through this project, we have ensured the Copacabana Palace Hotel is modern and fresh while remaining a celebration of its historic significance, showcasing its soul and speaking to every one of us.
Who were the other key partners on the project who helped bring it to life and how did you collaborate to get the job done?
Paulo Pozzobon – Belmond´s Director of Engineering of the Americas, for his vision and confidence in our work
Tah Arquitetura – Project Manager
Taissa Thiry – Head Architect and Project Manager
Mariana Pinto – Architect
Vanessa Kronemberger – Architect, for their amazing coordination, support and restlessness to manage and make this project happen
Ivan Rezende Arquitetura
Patricia Gouveia, for their partnership through all the processes and expertise to deliver an amazing and delicate façade renovation.
Baggio & Carvalho
Mateus Vargas – for their expertise, partnership, and resourcefulness to build all of that in such a limited time frame.