Illuminate Lighting Design worked with HBA Studio to create a tapestry of changing atmosphere that resonates with the changing natural light quality while evoking imageries of fun and relaxation.

Nestled in a prime 32-hectare Bai Dai beach front property in the idyllic Cam Ranh Bay, the resort is a partnership between Radisson Blu and Eurowindow Holdings. Completed in 2019, the project is one of Illuminate’s large-scale foray into Vietnam where the scope covered a masterplan interior and exterior lighting.

Referencing the Vietnamese fishing industry, the property narrated a colourful relationship between the landscape and interior, connecting guests to the sun, sand, and sea surrounding. Illuminate Lighting Design worked with HBA Studio to create a tapestry of changing atmosphere that resonates with the changing natural light quality while evoking imageries
of fun and relaxation. The interior comprises 292 guestrooms, including private villas that sprawled along the coastline facing the South China Sea, 4 F&B venues, a grand ballroom, and meeting spaces and for recreation, a gym overlooking the ocean horizon, and a dedicated spa enclave with its dome-shaped pods cocooning the guest experience.

Guests arrive at the main lobby where the stunning fishnet inspired ceiling turns up in a strong silhouette from the ceiling cove lighting, with suspended spotlights delivering light down the double height space to the reception desks and lounge seats. As night falls the skylight dims and transforms into a light well, courtesy of the signature aperture feature in the façade lighting above it. The space is transformative throughout different times of the day or season as sunlight moves along the walls through the large windows, the complementary lighting scheme makes it an alluring location for watching the time pass.

On the right wing of the lobby, the All-Day Dining restaurant Sunrise kicks the play on fishnets up a notch. Huge backlit columns became opportunities to introduce coloured ambience and softness into the large space. Associate YanChoo explains ‘With themes like sunrise and sunset, the colour tones were programmed and automated by time. The experience is for guests to continue the gastronomical experience with a connection to changing light quality on the outside.’

The left wing, presents itself with a more relaxed lounge space, containing a lobby lounge and Cheers bar. The bar teems with colours on the graffiti walls with ombres of paint work mixed with driftwood touches. Swing chairs further enhance the experience of kick back and relax, while looking out to the views. Lighting enhances this atmosphere with tracklights focused on tables and accent pieces, creating a dramatic contrast that plays up the pops of colours.

The Grand Ballroom and upstairs meeting rooms provided guests with event space options and the flexibility of lighting to expand into bigger rooms. Specifically, in the ballroom, spotlights are tucked within the slots of the bamboo ceiling to minimise ceiling clutter, with some focused on the chandelier for sparkle, others with narrow beams to spotlight tables. Various control groups were allocated to allow some of these lights to dim independently of other lights to create a range of light scenes, together with colour changing cove lights at the perimeter walls, maximising the possibility of accommodating different functions.

In the guestrooms, the recurring theme of fishing is exemplified through the choice of turquoise hues against the dark hardwood reminisce of traditional fishing boats. Lighting plays a role in accenting the verticals of the hardwood while injecting a soft glow into the space. The challenge was to ensure the functionality of shielded, minimal lighting to encourage views towards the ocean.

Connecting the guests with the stunning environment, through the labyrinth of lush landscape and reflective pools, the landscape lighting was crafted in collaboration with landscape consultant Element Studio. Low level bollards formed tiny beacons of light guiding guests to their point of destination as up lit tropical palm trees frame the long views down to the beach at every turn. Pools were lit at the edge for the illusion of infinite cascade while the flanking rows of cabanas held wall sconces that provide a calming glow. Guests would walk along a curious path towards the spa enclave at the far end, where light transits into a burst of shadow play on plumerias and shrubs lining the curved walls, allowing guests to discover the dome shaped piece of heaven.

At the spa reception, lighting attempts to slow down the minds with a focus on uplights gently washing the boundary walls, together with customised artificial candle lights flickering on the flanking wood screens. With the aid of uplights through the center fountain, the reflectivity of water ripples washes the ceiling evokes a sense of serenity for arriving guests. As YanChoo describes, ‘As guests are led into their dedicated treatment pods by the light that is subdued from the eye, occasionally revealing only the curves of the entrances and dome ceiling. The subtlety of light and calmness of the scenery allows guests to pause and reflect.’

Fronting the beach is the specialty Vietnamese restaurant Blu Lobster. Donning traditional Vietnamese architecture, a quiet lotus pond with soft light washes to the decorative vessels gently ushers in the entry to the restaurant. Greeting the guests is a double storey cascade of paper lanterns surrounded by a towering feature wall of planters. The wall sconces helped accentuate the traditional architectural columns whilst the soft coves deliver glow to pitched rattan ceilings. The overall scheme is a rich celebration of lit textures and form, very much a reflection of the cuisine offered in the restaurant.

Façade lighting to the hotel tower focused on accentuating the curved profile of the building block and signature aperture in the middle of the block. Soft linear graze light was applied to each floor wrapping around the building, with multi-angled wash lights accenting the aperture walls, pulling views through the building towards the sea. On the top floor, cove details were added to the balcony outside the club lounge, to create an uplifting float effect to the cap of the building. The overall façade lighting effect is a glorious draw as guests travel down the main road from the local airport and an absolute standout project in the area.

Photo Credits: Radisson Hotel Group

Project: Radisson Blu
Location: Cam Ranh Bay, Vietnam
Design Studio: HBA