Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Resort in Dubai ... Umaya project.

Renowned lighting design studios have recently joined hands to set up a joint venture that aims to deliver award-winning and independent architectural lighting design services worldwide.

Operating as Umaya Lighting since January this year, the rebranded entity is envisioned to be the ideal fusion of lighting design capability and execution that extends its services from its headquarters in Dubai, UAE, and offices in Barcelona (Spain), Montevideo (Uruguay) and Buenos Aires (Argentina).

In support of its diverse customer base, the firm brings together a veritable cocktail of lighting expertise. Umaya has been carefully stitched together via a shared passion for lighting and comprises a multi-disciplinary team spanning the realms of architecture, urban planning, interior design, electrical engineering and lighting technologies.

“The dynamic, multicultural and experienced melting pot that is Umaya, organised in design hubs across three different continents, put us in a prime position to deliver the most challenging projects, wherever in the world they might be,” says design director Alex Shaw. “At all times, our intent is to create lighting schemes that are innovative, truthful to the architecture and context conscious, in the most remote corners of this planet.”

Umaya now focuses on all aspects of lighting design consultancy – from architectural lighting design, lighting masterplanning, lighting control design, daylights studies, lighting project management and fixture design.

From the Gulf through Europe and Latin America, the team brings together a progressive mindset, updated in technological knowledge and innovation in its ways.

With a comprehensive portfolio of completed projects to its name, Umaya’s work is evident in countries as diverse as Pakistan and Panama. Completed projects include buildings across the region, from private office spaces to large corporate headquarters, hotels, universities, museums and urban developments.

The Cielo Sky Lounge.

The Cielo Sky Lounge.

Its accomplishments in the GCC include the majestic Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Resort, the Cielo Sky Lounge at the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Dubai Silicon Oasis headquarters and the Prime Tower in Dubai, UAE; and the Burj Rafal Hotel Kempinski Riyadh, Al Jawharah Tower, Al Mada Towers in Saudi Arabia, among a host of projects.

The Cielo Sky Lounge is a chic rooftop bar in a relaxing and refined setting that offers panoramic views of the river. The soft delineation of the stylish white furniture combined with the bold backlit effect on the bar counter creates a soothing and welcoming atmosphere. This scenery is enhanced with subtle table effects and delicate visual lighting backdrops. In contraposition, a second layer of lighting composed by colour-changing gear, transforms the rooftop into a lively setting. Selected architectural elements shift colours at the pulse of the music, converting the place into a true sophisticated and cosmopolitan night spot.

Meanwhile, the lighting study scope for Jumeirah Zabeel Saray Resort encompassed the façade, landscape, guest rooms and main public spaces. The design concept aimed at accentuating the dynamic ottoman architectural vocabulary of vaults, domes and columns, by providing light emphasis to the Turkish architectural details, and achieving harmony between inner and outer spaces.

Among other developments, Umaya Lighting Design won the award for Innovative Lighting Project of the Year at the Light Middle East Awards 2015 for the Prime Tower at Business Bay in Dubai. The building was seen as a blank canvas, where light was used as a means to amaze, and to set it apart from the surrounding towers, according to a spokesman for the company.

He elaborates: “The tower was interpreted as a reflection of the sky, more specifically as a reflection of the stars which guided sailors and bedouins in past times. The random arrangement of the star constellations contrasts beautifully with the rigorous structure of the glazing, unveiling an unexpected effect. The gradual concentration of the bright dots stresses the curvature of the outer shell, while visually stretching the tower towards the sky. Three colours of light (white, turquoise and blue) give depth and texture to the glass surface, while conveying a starry ambiance.

“Both roofs were gently washed to indicate the ending of the different masses, and suggest the volumetric gesture of the building. These peculiar shapes can be considered as crescent moons, amidst the sky of stars.

“The LED equipment specified was dome indicators for the stars, linear grazers for the podium panels, and strips for the column rings as well as fluorescent linear wall washers for the roof. The total load for the complete tower is 12.24 kW, including roofs, podium and galleria.”

Umaya is the culmination of activities and projects focused on one clear endgame: an exceptional international lighting consultancy group with a laser-like focus on both the client as well as the end-user experience, according to the spokesman.

“Considering that lighting, both natural and artificial, impacts remarkably the efficiency of a project, the team at Umaya is fully qualified in sustainable lighting design and green building programmes, specifically Breeam (BRE Environmental Assessment Method), Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), Estidama and EHS,” he adds.