Mondo*arc July 2010

June 24 2010 — by Jesse Lilley
"During an amazing night in Las Vegas, Speirs and Major achieved the seemingly impossible by scooping the IALD Radiance Award for the third year running in an international field."

Mondo*arc, July 2010.

"It was another great night for UK lighting design practice Speirs and Major Associates as they scooped their third Radiance Award in a row - unprecedented for the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD).

"Speirs and Major Associates received this honour for the third straight year, this time accepted by Jonathan Speirs for his team's external lighting of the Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan Mosque (Grand Mosque) in Abu Dhabi, UAE. In 2008 Speirs and Major first won the Radiance prize fir their work on the Richard Rogers-designed Barajas International airport. In 2009, they returned to win the prize again, this time in recognition of their work on the Foster and Partners-designed 3 More London.

"The brief for the exterior scheme for the Grand Mosque was to tell a story after dark that was respectful and dignified, and to create a symbolic icon.

"Judges praised the project for its daring and completely fulfilled concept. 'Hats off to the designers for having the nerve to propose it, and to the client for having the courage to say yes', one judge remarked. 'The magic of this creation conceals an astounding amount of work, and exhibits a true appreciation of all nature's gifts on the part of the owner.'

"The inspiration was the moon, with wisps of cloud moving across its face. The Islamic religious calendar is based upon the lunar cycle and the phases of the moon. The building changes subtly across the lunar cycle, becoming bathed in cool white light during the full moon. There are then seven subtle colour shifts every two evenings from white to the deep blue that signifies no moon. The viewer is never able to perceive the building changing from one colour to the next."

Read the full article online here.