Dezeen Magazine

Sinuous conference centre lit up by hidden lights

Brandston Partnerships' lighting design highlights sinuous shape of Yabuli conference centre

Architectural lighting design firm Brandston Partnership used concealed facade lighting to showcase the undulating structure of the MAD-designed Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum.

The conference centre, designed by Chinese architecture studio MAD, is located on a mountain next to China’s largest ski resort Yabuli in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang.

Bird's eye view of Yabuli Conference Centre
Yabuli China Entrepreneurs Forum is a conference centre located next to a ski resort

Brandston Partnership's lighting design for the project, which has been shortlisted in the architectural lighting design category of Dezeen Awards 2022, aims to help the tent-like building with an overhanging roof blend in with its surroundings.

"Our design concept aims to reduce external interference through the architectural language of light, and advocate the integration of the building and the environment as a whole, rather than focusing on the light itself," Brandston Partnership said.

Close-up of conference centre with undulating white roof
The lighting was designed to showcase the shape of the undulating building

The studio used mostly concealed facade lighting to create the least disruption to the architecture and to create the feel of light snow covering the roof.

The highly reflective silver aluminium plate on the curved roof is lit up at night to create a display of light and shadows.

White conference centre with overhanging roof on white snow
Lighting on the reflective roof creates a light-and-shadow effect

Brandon Partnership also added pole-mounted flood lights that were designed to resemble moonlight from a distance, as well as a dimming system to highlight the building's shape at night.

"We use a combination of precision project lamps and an overall dimming system to adapt to the brightness requirements of different periods of time," said the studio.

"Our design is not just about solving technical problems, but about harmonising the building with the environment," it added.

Brandston Partnership also used the dimming system for energy-saving purposes, with the outdoor lighting power density reduced to 0.625 watts per square metre and the indoor one controlled at six watts per square metre when dimmed.

Close-up of white conference centre with ribbed design
Brandston Partnership used dimmed lights to save energy

Other projects shortlisted in the architectural lighting design category of Dezeen Awards 2022 include a live performance theatre with illuminated tiles in China and lighting upgrade for a historical theatre in London.

The photography is by Li Zhou.