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The two-minute guide to lighting in connecting spaces

The lighting of connecting spaces in hotels is as important as a welcoming reception. How best to reflect the style of the building while making guests feel comfortable and secure?

Most hotel guests arrive at night and first impressions are key to a successful visit. Beyond the welcoming reception, guests must find their way through an interior that reflects the style of the building and makes them feel comfortable and secure.

The aim of the recent refurbishment of the Sofitel London St James (pictured) was to convey the visitors through the grand hotel interior in style, each signature piece lining the main circulation space. In this instance the Hotel’s basement space acts as breakout area and anteroom for all of the individual banqueting and meeting rooms.

The brief for the Sofitel London St James conference and banqueting space was to create a glamorous stylish environment which can cater for anything from a lavish banquet/party, a discreet board meeting or creative meeting away from the office.

Whilst the previous interior answered the needs of the conference or meeting guest, “We wanted to add sparkle and light and to add a level of glamour and sophistication that you would expect from such an amazing location thus making it more attractive as a party or launch venue,” recalls Beverley Bayes, director of Sparcstudio, designers and architects for the project.

“The Diffuse bespoke porcelain chandeliers were the perfect choice for this; during the day they form a wonderful focal point to the central coffers and are one of the first features that you notice when descending down from the first floor. At night on a dimmed setting they emit a wonderful warm glow and soft flattering light over the breakout spaces where pre-dinner canapés and cocktails are served,” Beverley adds.

Diffuse chandeliers are designed to complement both contemporary and ornate interiors. It is not only the buttery warmth of the light that works in all settings; the sculptural form of the whole fixture is important too.

With recent developments in low energy emissions and LEDs, Diffuse lights are also cost effective in ‘always lit’ areas and require little maintenance.

Diffuse lights enjoy a strong demand in hotels worldwide. Recent projects in Asia and the Middle East have quickly established cast porcelain as a luxurious lighting scheme for high-end hotels and private residences.

Photography: Sophie Mutevelian