Luminaires: models and possibilities in residential projects

Luminaires: models and possibilities in residential projects

The development of an architectural project is a complex process that involves different scales, from the structure to the small refinements, such as the choice of coatings, paint colors, baseboards, metals, crockery and, of course, lighting.

Apart from lamp wattage and lampshade issues, luminaire design is also key in the project process. It can contribute to the appreciation of spaces and the comfort of the inhabitants.

Casa Villa Lobos / Una Arquitetos.  © Nelson KonMarshal Apartment / Casa100 Arquitetura.  © Maira AcayabaClerkenwell/InsideOut Industrial Apartment.  © Jim StephensonResidence RN / Jacobsen Arquitetura.  © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG+ 20

Nowadays it is impossible to imagine everyday life without the use of artificial lighting and as technology advances we are becoming more and more dependent on it. However, lighting has always extrapolated from the purely functional plane, and this can be seen, for example, in the huge chandeliers that adorned Baroque palaces. Therefore, the history of lighting has always understood these elements as decorative pieces, and today the situation is no different. On the contrary, we are inundated with catalogs with countless models, sizes, colors and shapes, a wealth of possibilities which, instead of facilitating, makes it difficult to specify the luminaires in a project.

With this in mind, we present here some guidelines that can help in this important stage of the project, providing strategies that transform environments and incite states of mind. However, above all, it is important to emphasize that each project is a dive into the specificities and individual characteristics of its users, so choosing a good design has to do with the daily life of the inhabitants, their habits and customs and not strategy can be read as a general rule.

Dining room

When it comes to lighting, the dining room (or the area related to the dining table) is perhaps the first room that comes to mind, and it’s no wonder. Setting up the dining table space is a full plate to be bold when choosing light fixtures, so many projects opt for striking designs such as large chandeliers centered on the table. The forms range from linear elements as in Higienópolis Apartment and its suspended table, to amorphous pieces as in RBL Apartment, up to designs considered more “traditional”, such as the dining table by House Villa Lobos or Q04L63 House. Here, whatever the shape, it is important to pay attention to the height of the luminaire to be installed – experts recommend that the start of the room is between 75 and 80 cm above the table top to create the desired effect.

Apartment RBL / VOA Arquitetura.  © Rafael Renzo
Apartment RBL / VOA Arquitetura. © Rafael Renzo
Casa Villa Lobos / Una Arquitetos.  © Nelson Kon
Casa Villa Lobos / Una Arquitetos. © Nelson Kon
House Q04L63 / mf+arquitetos.  © Felipe Araujo
House Q04L63 / mf+arquitetos. © Felipe Araujo

Salon

This environment generally calls for more indirect lighting, so it is often composed of floor lamps or side sconces that provide comfort worthy of a resting space, such as the discreet luminaires of the Apartment in Largo do Carmo, for example. Another widely used strategy in living rooms is track lighting, especially in larger spaces. In these cases, paths with directional spotlights manage to create a warm atmosphere and at the same time provide enough light for basic tasks, as can be seen in the project of the 112 Sul apartment and the apartment Rosa, both from CoDA Arquitetos. In the case of RR Apartment, the chosen tracks are highlighted with the ceiling made up of modular arched structures, sometimes parallel to the structure, sometimes perpendicular to it. A similar strategy is seen at Clerkenwell Warehouse Loft, in this case with bolder lines. The use of exposed pipes with spotlights is also an interesting option, especially when dealing with spaces without a plaster ceiling, as is the case of Flamingo Apartment or Marechal Apartment, in which the design of the pipes it -even is an important part of the project. composition.

Apartamento no Largo do Carmo / Aurora Arquitectos.  © do mal o menos
Apartamento no Largo do Carmo / Aurora Arquitectos. © do mal o menos
Apartment RR / StudioLIM.  ©André Mortatti
Apartment RR / StudioLIM. ©André Mortatti
Clerkenwell/InsideOut Industrial Apartment.  © Jim Stephenson
Clerkenwell/InsideOut Industrial Apartment. © Jim Stephenson
Marshal Apartment / Casa100 Arquitetura.  © Maira Acayaba
Marshal Apartment / Casa100 Arquitetura. © Maira Acayaba

Food

Unlike the environments mentioned above, the kitchen is a space that requires a lot of lighting. In this sense, the linear pieces usually occupy a large part of the surface of the environment, with the possibility of additional lighting in the work benches. An interesting example is the GT apartment in which, in addition to other strategies such as rails and individual spotlights, the architects use the plaster ceiling to create a discreet linear opening in the kitchen. In this same project, it is also worth mentioning the custom-made lighting for the dining table, a metal piece that serves as a support for the plants and which also has integrated lighting. In Casa RN by Jacobsen Arquitetura, a linear suspension is chosen to illuminate the kitchen worktop. Moreover, it is worth mentioning that in many high-end projects, very discreet pieces are chosen for general lighting which are, in most cases, embedded in plaster or wooden ceilings.

Apartment GT / Oficina Conceito Arquitetura.  © Marcelo Donadussi
Apartment GT / Oficina Conceito Arquitetura. © Marcelo Donadussi
Residence RN / Jacobsen Arquitetura.  © Fernando Guerra |  FG+SG
Residence RN / Jacobsen Arquitetura. © Fernando Guerra | FG+SG

Bedroom

The strategy of the bedroom is similar to that of the living room, the lighting being preferably peripheral. With this, sconces are again a good choice, as well as lamps on the sides of the bed. At Kaluá Apartment, sconces of different models are used not only in the bedroom, but distributed in all environments, as design pieces. At Atlântica House and Origami House, the strategy is the same, with the difference that in the latter the lighting is aided by occasional spotlights embedded in the ceiling and in the former the lighting is by wall lights.

Apartamento Kaluá / Estúdio BRA Arquitetura.  © Maira Acayaba
Apartamento Kaluá / Estúdio BRA Arquitetura. © Maira Acayaba
Casa Origami / Bernardes Arquitetura.  © Leonardo Finotti
Casa Origami / Bernardes Arquitetura. © Leonardo Finotti

Bathroom

The bathroom is a hybrid room, because if some activities require intense lighting, in others it is a question of maintaining a cozy atmosphere with a low incidence. With this, two strategies are generally applied: focused spotlights near the mirror, taking care here not to create shadow areas, and more indirect lighting in the shower area or, in some cases, the bathtub. Among the colors of Floresta Apartment, round black metal sconces have been installed to illuminate the mirror area, the same strategy as that of the Tri Suave project. The LED strips hidden in the furniture could not be missing from this selection, especially when it comes to bathrooms, such as the Recinto do Bosque public bathroom. As in other rooms, an interesting strategy to modify the atmosphere of the bathroom is to use dimmers as a control of the incidence of light.

Tri Suave washbasin / Marília Zimmermann Arquitetura e Interiores.  © Denilson Machado – MCA Studio
Tri Suave washbasin / Marília Zimmermann Arquitetura e Interiores. © Denilson Machado – MCA Studio
Banheiro Public Recinto do Bosque / GDL Arquitetura.  © Felipe Araujo
Banheiro Public Recinto do Bosque / GDL Arquitetura. © Felipe Araujo

This article is part of the Ideas for the home series, in which we explore issues related to domestic life through advice, solutions and ideas to improve your home. As always, ArchDaily welcomes contributions from our readers; if you want to submit an article or a project, contact us.

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