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When CGA Arquitectos Asociados was commissioned to remodel the old building located in 62 Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona, the main challenge was to create a project that could meet the structure requirements of a different hotel with very specific needs in terms of decoration and layout. It was essential to make good use of the space available within the building by creating a great variety of light effects to enhance the features of every area and highlight the decoration of the different environments.
CGA had already begun to project the renovation of the building when they found out about Lutron and the multiple applications of its products in the decoration of commercial buildings. María Vives, head architect of the project, was at once delighted with the idea of incorporating a light control system. She understood right away the great range of possibilities within her reach to create light effects and provide the building with a series of performances difficult to obtain otherwise.
The hotel has a single communal area. Therefore, it had to be a multipurpose area that could serve the hotel’s different uses: breakfast, reading, living room, Internet enquiries, drinks, coffee, all in a private and personalized environment. It was essential to design a structure capable of drawing this distinction while providing the necessary flexibility to change the characteristics of the space for a specific period of time maintaining the decorative elements. For Vives, “since in this space lighting levels must adjust to multiple activities at specific times, lighting plays an essential role, from having breakfast to working, holding a meeting or having a drink after dinner. Depending on the lighting, the very same room may turn into a nice reading room, a sophisticated restaurant or a pleasant environment for relaxing, all the while maintaining the hotel’s specific design elements.”
On the other hand, the use of a lighting control system was essential to achieve the desired results. Thanks to the GRAFIK Eye® 3000, which also incorporates a management system, planners managed to turn this area into a multifunctional space that integrates the decoration of each of the areas into a harmonic and extraordinarily set.
A total of 6 different lighting scenes were preset to change light levels throughout the day. From a fully lit scene for breakfast to a very dim light combined with chill out music for those who want to have a drink at night, a day scene, a bright evening scene, an evening scene with softer light and another one combining dim light, candles and soft music for dinner. As a result, customers may sit to work and use the Internet on their laptops or hold a business meeting, have breakfast in the morning or a cup of tea or coffee in the evening, have dinner at night or a drink at the end of the day, all in the same place but in a completely different mood appropriate for each situation.
Due to the building structure, the project envisaged a small number of rooms, 45 in total, of which ten have a balcony, ten a veranda and two suites. Except for these differences, each of the 45 hotel bedrooms had to provide a personalized and high-quality service to its customers, reproducing to the greatest extend the conditions that could make them feel at home. Thus and regardless of the purpose of their stay, pleasure or business, and the kind of bedroom, the main objective was to give each of the customers a special treatment.
"Among the omnipresent characteristics of the bedrooms was the use of top-quality materials and complements for the furniture, the audiovisual system... and, of course, the lighting system. “One of the most outstanding elements that distinguish us from our competitors is the Lutron lighting system that allows us to create different moods to offer the greatest comfort to our customers,” said Ruiz.
Indeed, one of the distinguishing characteristics of the bedrooms decoration is that all of them have a lighting control. But it had to be easy to use so guests with no acquaintance with a lighting control system could operate it. That is why Vives chose the Lutron GRAFIK 3000 Series, which meets fully all these requirements and is capable of controlling all light sources of the bedrooms, even the fluorescent ones. The system incorporated 3 seeTouch™ keypads with backlit buttons that replaced the traditional switches so they could be found in the dark. Each control allows guests to have access to all the preset functions from their different locations in the room—one at the doorway and two at the bedsides. From each control, the customer can operate a total of 4 preset scenes, designed to meet all their needs by just pressing a switch. In addition, the customer has the option to adjust preset scenes and return to the original situation at will. Any change in light levels is always gradual which helps create a more pleasant effect.
“Even though the system is very easy to use, we always walk new customers to their room to explain to them not only how to work the audiovisual system controls but also the lighting system functions”, explained Ruiz. Each scene has an assigned button with its name engraved on it: Welcome, Bathroom, Reading and TV are the different available lighting moods, although some functions vary depending on the placement of the in the room control in order to meet the guests’ needs. For instance, when the “Bathroom” function is operated from the doorway control, it will be fully lit, while when operated from the bedside, the bathroom light will be dim and the corridor will be softly lit. In this case, the function is designed to offer the exact amount of light so as not to disturb you. The “Welcome” scene fully lights the room and opens the window drapes; the “Reading” function lights two reading lamps over the bedsides while the overall bedroom lighting dims; and the “TV” scene creates an overall dim environment and contrast so any reflection of light on the screen cannot be seen. There is also another independent function used to lower the windows drapes at will. Another function of the system is the possibility of turning off all the bedroom lights and lowering the drapes just by pressing the “off” button located on the keypad next to the bed which is especially convenient if one has forgotten to turn off the bathroom or corridor lights.