Posts tagged ‘Restaurants’
As a followup to my last post about Las Vegas and photographing a lighting design, here are some photos I took a few weeks ago of a project I just finished working on there: Social, a new whiskey-centric watering hole at the Palms Hotel and Casino, designed by Rockwell Group.
If you work in a creative or visual field, never underestimate the value of documenting your work as it’s happening. You never know if you’ll get a second chance.
I’ve never really had trouble with documentation before, because, as a theatrical lighting designer, I was always in the same room as my work, right down to the end of the project. I’d simply whip out my camera in tech rehearsal, setup my tripod, and take as many photos as I could fit on a memory card. Often, the set designer and costume designer would be right next to me doing the exact same thing. As an architectural lighting designer, I’ve learned, however, it isn’t always that easy.
As a follow-up to my last post about creating environments that bring people together, I’d like to share some photos from the recently-completed (and soon-to-open) Corkbuzz Wine Studio by SLDesign and Focus Lighting.
Corkbuzz was brought to us by owner and Master Sommelier, Laura Maniec, who sought a warm, inviting atmosphere in which to serve and entertain her guests. Her concept for Corkbuzz (located on 13th Street near Union Square), however, involves more than just entertaining at the street-front wine bar. Corkbuzz will also serve as a resource to the community by offering wine tastings and classes for beginners and experts alike in its unique flexible space equipped to handle anything from sit-down presentations to large social events. Finally, on top of it all, the “wine studio” will maintain an in-house inventory of nearly 2500 bottles from which to choose, most of which will be displayed for guests to see in a custom climate-controlled, glass-enclosed display room.
Are you excited!? We certainly are!
December 21, 2010
Remember that time when I haven’t worked a theatrical lighting call in a year? Well, I got a taste of those late-night hours again on Sunday night/Monday morning at my first architectural lighting focus call with Focus Lighting, where we aimed, accessorized, and reprogrammed almost all of the over 150 lighting fixtures at a new bar/restaurant on the Lower East Side between the hours of midnight and 8AM. You know, no big deal.
Despite the odd hours I was thankful for the experience because it was a huge opportunity to observe and learn first-hand how architectural lighting differs from theatrical lighting. Plus, it really was a ton of fun!
The story was that Focus had been briefly consulted (read: called at the last minute) on the lighting design for this space, and the purpose of this work call was to follow up to ensure the space looked its best with the equipment that was installed. The restaurant had already opened during the first week of December without having any of their massive number of adjustable accent lights aimed or accessorized by a lighting designer, so, since we couldn’t work during business hours (or during daylight, for that matter, due to the large skylight in the main dining room), we had to start at midnight.
We started to work just as the last few guests were leaving for the night, pulling all of the recessed accent lights out of the ceiling and adding diffusion, color, and louvers to them before replacing them and properly focusing them in their intended locations. As we found out, almost all of the over 100 of these fixtures were mis-aimed, making the space feel unbalanced and underlit. We fixed that problem quickly. Other tasks on our list included refocusing all of the track fixtures in the main dining room, adding color to the effects niches in the same dining room, adding color to the lighted liquor stands behind the bars, and properly readjusting all of the lighting levels with the new colors and accessories in place. It may seem like a short list, but when you have to maneuver a tall ladder around tables, sofas, and liquor bottles, it takes a bit of time. We ended up finishing the focus portion of the evening at around 6AM, leaving just enough time before sunrise to reprogram all of the light levels in the restaurant. One of the Focus staff trained me on the lighting controls and by the end of the night I was setting light levels like a pro! We ended up leaving the restaurant at 8AM, just as the sun was lighting up the sky in the dining room skylight.
It certainly was a long night, but I learned a ton from the experience, including that architectural lighting focus calls aren’t that much different from their theatrical counterparts. Aside from the fact that we aren’t responsible for hanging or circuiting the lights, we go in, add color and accessories, aim the lights, and set their dimmer levels — the same types of activities you’d find at a theatre lighting focus call. They happen in very different venues, obviously, but are otherwise very similar. The change of scenery, for me, was fun though. It was fun to know that the changes we were making would be seen by people every day in a venue that wasn’t a theatre. And look at the pictures — who wouldn’t want to spend a few hours working in a space as nice as that?
Many thanks to Focus designers Josh and Victoria for bringing me along and teaching me throughout the night! It was great to finally get a hands-on experience that I would never find at school. Like I’ve told a few people, you need to observe and experience light in a real space to have the knowledge to design with it — theories and principles are great for school, but they won’t develop your eye for design nearly as effectively as will manipulating light firsthand. I hope I can continue to tag along and assist more in the future!