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MONDO ARC

Alila Diwa, Goa, India

Issue 61 Jun/Jul 2011 : Retail : Hotel

Architect: STAPATI Lighting Design: AWA


Traditional Goan design provided the foundation for an elegant new contemporary resort on India’s west coast

A jewel among the resorts in India’s smallest state, Alila Diwa Goa opened this year to much acclaim. Finished to the heighest standard, the resort has garnered a host of accolades from both travel journals and the hospitality industry - including the HICSA 2011 Critics Award for Best New Hotel in India.

The new 200-room complex offers guests four bar/restaurants, a conference facility, a health spa and two swimming pools, all woven together by a contemporary yet traditional aesthetic.
To achieve this look, owners Seabird Resorts brought together a creative team that could work towards a local design tradition and not simply deliver a generic hotel design.

After a series of meetings and interviews with lighting designers AWA, Seabird was confident it had found the right practice with which to collaborate. “Given the nature of the project, we all wanted to be sure that there were synergies amongst the team members and that we understood the vision and requirements of the project,” says Abhay Wadhwa, principal, AWA Lighting Designers. “We were primarily chosen because we can engage in designing a ‘hand-crafted’ project where the lighting design is a bespoke solution for the project in question, and not recycled design ideas from other projects.”
AWA’s portfolio of completed projects in the US, Middle-East, South Asia and the Far-East – proved they were able to relate their designs to a local setting.

Their approach for Alila Diwa had two key aims. Firstly, to create a fully immersive experience for guests in which illumination, from the overall plan to the material used for individual light fixtures, would emphasise the resort’s spirit of serenity, luxury and romance.
Secondly, on an ethical level, the team wanted to attain green globe status through the balanced utilisation and preservation of local resources, and through a reduction of light pollution.

In creating the concept, Alila Diwa and its surroundings became both subject and inspiration. The beauty and complexity of the local flora and fauna -  the indigenous frangipani and banyan trees, for example - were reflected in the design.

At the same time, the vernacular Goan architecture set the standard for simple quality – its steeply pitched roofs, ceiling high columns, cool verandahs and tranquil courtyards informing every element of the design. AWA were able to highlight these details, drawing out the honesty of this traditional style, and in doing so emphasise its calming simplicity.

The main entrance acts as a central focus for the resort. As such, it needed to seem inviting, beckoning visitors to come inside and relax, while also exhibiting the resort’s uniqueness of place and the complexity of its features.  A frangipani tree stands in the centre of the entrance courtyard, its graceful form emphasised by cool LED lights placed around it’s base. These uplights are submerged in the pool that surrounds the tree. As a result, the water becomes the source of light while at the same time reflecting back the illuminated forms around it. 
Lights along the exterior of the structure capture the patterns on the façade, and help to create a welcoming visibility upon first approach. The warmly lit verticals of the archways and illuminated openings carry the eye deeper into the resort.

Looking out from the lobby onto the lawn, layers of illumination filter out from the warm vertical glowing interior elements, forming horizontal streaks across the landscape before dissolving into the outer bounds and the night sky. It is an elegent effect and one that significantly reduces nighttime light pollution. 

Back inside the complex, the resort’s central corridor features columns  that are grazed by light to accent the stone’s natural texture and demarking the route through the open architecture of the space. Concentrated illumination is focused on an iconic element at the end of the corridor to provide a visual destination.

Candlelight sets a romantic atmosphere in the Spice Studio, the resorts main restaurant.  Soft flames from candles on table-tops and glowing floor lanterns flicker over the water’s surface and mingle with the reflected stars. 

The creation of bespoke lighting fixtures was another essential part of the immersive quality of the scheme. Conceived in collaboration with the client and interior designer, fixtures came out of extensive research and required a constant dialogue with those fabricating the pieces locally. The design of the fixtures was kept simple and elegant and each was beautifully handcrafted from materials such as copper.       

It is this spirit of collaboration in every aspect of the project that which lies at the root of its overall success. 
“We had a great working relationship with the client, who fully supported our design vision through the project,” says Abhay Wadhwa. “Even though there were severe budget constraints, we worked closely with the client to find the most cost-effective solution that did not compromise the design intent. We have always maintained that our lighting can only be as good as the architect’s design and the client’s vision and desire to create an evocative environment, and in that, we were very fortunate on this project.”
www.awalightingdesigners.com

Project Details
Alila Diwa, Goa, India
Client: Seabird Resorts (Parekh Shipping Group)
Operator: Alila Group, Singapore
Lighting Designer: AWA
Architect: Stapati

Lighting Specified
Affineon recessed built-in linear white LED with variable color temperature
Aldabra recessed linear amber / warm white LED
Bartco recessed linear fluorescent
Belfer wall mounted uplight
BK Lighting wall mounted MR16
Boca Flasher recessed linear LED downlight
Cooper recessed MR16 downlight with linear spread lens
Crescent recessed in-ground fiber optic/LED accent light
Crescent recessed ceiling LED downlight
Cube recessed MR11
Erco recessed ceiling AR111 downlights built into ballroom Barrisol ceiling
Flos  exterior bollard pathway light
Fontan Arte ceiling mounted decorative fixture above bar
HK Lighting wall mounted accent light
HK Lighting Exterior Recessed Built in 3W LED/incandescent uplight lobby canopy roof edge detail
HK Lighting ceiling/truss mounted metal halide uplight
HK Lighting exterior metal halide downlight
HK Lighting Exterior Ground uplight
HK Lighting exterior wall mounted MR16 downlight
Iris recessed MR16 downlights
Louis Poulsen exterior ground–mounted “amber” LED Path light
Lumascape exterior ground–mounted recessed MR16 uplight
Meyer recessed in-ground linear LED uplight
Osram recessed built-in LED linear strip light
Osram recessed linear LED downlight
Portfolio recessed ceiling 2-lamp CFL downlight
Simes exterior grade recessed compact fluorescent
TAL Lighting recessed wall mounted CFL (ceiling wash) uplight
Tokistar recessed built-in linear xenon light
Wibre recessed inground LED narrow distribution uplight
Winona exterior wall recessed MR11 steplight windscape

 

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