ADesignStudio used 90 hand-blown frosted glass spheres to create a remarkable installation for the BarLume restaurant in Sydney

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ADesignStudio has created a striking lighting installation for BarLume, a coffee shop in the ground floor lobby of Sydney’s prestigious new 1 Denison shopping tower. The installation is a rhythmic tableau of 90 hand-blown frosted glass spheres that fall three meters from the black mirrored ceiling, providing a soft atmospheric glow to the coffee shop below.

ADesignStudio worked with architectural firm Bates Smart and international lighting design consultancy Electrolight to produce custom lighting. Bates Smart and Electrolight had a clear visual brief for the fixture. “They wanted a 3 meter pendant light with a frosted and frosted glass diffuser. The lights also had to be DALI Dimmable and with a lens LED to help with glare, ”says Alex Fitzpatrick, founder and designer at ADesignStudio. Since the installation consists of 90 luminaires, the final design had to take into account installation, maintenance and access to LEDs throughout the life of the luminaire.

Alex is fascinated by the technical qualities of a luminaire and the ambient effects of diffused light. “I try to capture light in a material without the light source being visible,” he explains. For BarLume, in collaboration with BatesSmart and Electrolight, Alex designed a hand-blown glass sphere with a frosted fade and a lens system that conceals the LED from view. The sandblasting of the glass produced a frosted discoloration around three quarters of the sphere, with the effect of creating a sensation of freely suspended light.

Each sphere is on a solid 3 meter long drop, rather than a cable, with a special mounting system that allows the glass to simply screw on and be replaced or maintain the fitting. “Since the fittings are pretty straightforward to look at, we also wanted them to be simple and user-friendly for anyone who comes in contact with them,” says Alex.

With 90 glass spheres suspended in a grid arrangement, the installation shines in the double height hall. The depth and reflection of the black mirrored ceiling accentuates the repetition and rhythm of the network and amplifies the 3-meter drop (perfectly coordinated with the surrounding screen). The number and arrangement of accessories also allow BarLume staff to position tables where needed, as they receive even light.

ADesignStudio designed the three stage installable lights to help with the build schedule. The fittings had to be installed before the mirrored ceiling and passed through pre-drilled 20mm holes, so the first step was a mounting plate and rod that would fall just below the mirrored ceiling. This allowed the lights to be preinstalled and wired. The second step was to fix the rods and LEDs with a simple mechanical fastening. Finally, when the building was nearing completion, the glass spheres were installed with a pre-assembled mounting ring, and a bag around each sphere protected it from dust and debris.

Photo credit: BarLume at 1 Denison, Sydney

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