Galaxy, Macau

Located on Macau’s Cotai Strip, the Galaxy is a resort of great stature, providing a luxurious gaming experience and a number of amenities for visitors. With the concept, design and masterplan devised by Gary Goddard Entertainment, the resort was one of the first to bring a themed hotel experience to the strip.

The Galaxy phase I and II consisted of 3,600 rooms (JW Marriott & Ritz Carlton), and a total gaming space of 450,000sq-metres.

Executive architects Simon Kwan & Associates were tasked with the exterior façade detail, of which the lighting played a key role.

Opened 15 May 2011, Galaxy Phase I consisted of 2,200 rooms (1,500 Galaxy Hotel, 460 Okura Hotel and 240 Banyan Tree Hotel), which equated to a total resort space of 550,000sq-metres.

With the lighting design scheme carried out by Lighting Design Alliance, Creative Lighting Asia (CLA) was involved with the project to supply and install on a design and build contract in order to illuminate the crests and uppermost architectural features of both buildings.

Based on the success of the installation, CLA was invited to tender for the façade lighting for the Galaxy Phase II project.

As a design and install project for CLA, Project Manager Tony Ryan was the man on the ground doing the mock-ups for the project.

The challenge facing Ryan was to match the sodium lighting with the existing RGB ColorReach Philips Color Kinetics (CK) had at the time. Nothing was working until CK’s Head of Engineering, Nadya Piskun who was coincidently over in Shenzhen, China at the same time was invited to Macau to work together with Ryan to find a solution.

As head of engineering for CK, Piskun is also an expert in colour science and LEDs.

While working together with Ryan and his team on site, she was able to determine the LED combination needed to make this happen.

Once CK were informed of this, they were able to get a sample made up, successfully complete the final mock up and secure the project.

Opened 27 May 2015, Galaxy phase II followed the owners’ desire for a more advanced lighting solution instead of the sodium fixtures that were currently installed on the Phase I façade project.

CLA, in partnership with Scott Dellaire from Philips CK and US lighting design practice Francis Krahe & Associates (FKA), developed a solution to meet the demanding requirements of the project.

The client was looking for the same light and colour intensity that the existing sodium fixtures had provided plus the product needed to be able to illuminate the 70-metre high façade columns.

Through extensive collaboration and various trials, the trio developed a customised ColorReach solution, which simulated the required colour temperature and effect the client was looking for.

By placing a 5° and 13° ColorReach luminaire within a GRP architectural detail, a narrow beam and colour consistency was achieved to meet the client’s specification.

With this solution agreed for the Phase II façade, the client then requested that the current sodium lighting on the Phase I façade also be replaced with the ColorReach products.

In terms of added value to the Galaxy, the introduction of the CK ColorReach product reduced electricity, operating and maintenance costs, provided a higher level of colour consistency and the ability to add a show element to both phases using dynamic controls.

In addition, FKA was involved with the scheme for the 3F landscape, pool areas and interiors of the Galaxy phase II expansion, including the mass gaming hall, VIP Junket, Noodle restaurant, Pak Loh and Jinmen.

The team’s challenge was to design the lighting to match the light quality of the existing Phase I, which was illuminated by a variety of sources, including HID, fluorescents, induction lamps and LEDs.

It was clear from the beginning concept stage that LED technology would be implemented to illuminate the various architectural and site elements of the project. As mentioned, for the 35 storey tower, FKA worked along with Philips Color Kinetics to develop the precise colour temperature for the powerful LED uplights to match the HPS sources used to illuminate the Phase I tower. The use of LED provided the opportunity to illuminate the various details at the podium level in slightly different colour temperatures and light outputs, allowing for a hierarchy of illumination at the pedestrian level. The use of metal as the architect’s choice for the building cladding allowed for the creation of various details for the concealment and access to the various LED sources, thus allowing for the expression of the architecture through light without the fitting being visible.

For the 3F landscape and pool areas, the top level of the new podium is home to an artificial beach pool, various swimming pools, jacuzzis and a lazy river that snakes around the landscaped deck with various exterior free standing permanent F&B structures and an artificial rockwork with three water slides. The lighting for the 3F deck was designed with the view point of the guestrooms of the new tower at nighttime, along with the experience of the guests using the deck during the day. The various pools, and especially the lazy river, were the main features visible from the guestroom windows. Two independent lighting systems were designed for the pools, one of which being a standard pool lighting system using low-voltage, high wattage, PAR56 sources to achieve high lux levels required by local Macau code. A second LED colour changing system has been designed to be part of the night show when the pool area is closed. With the landscape, circulation pathways and structures illuminated in static white light, the movement of colour light within the body of water contained in the various pools creates a striking contrast to the visual seen from the guestrooms of the new tower.

Moving on to the interiors, with a ceiling height much lower than the existing Phase I gaming space, the lighting within the expansion space has been used as a tool to create a comfortable and inviting space for the guests.

Linear low-wattage, LED tape light has been concealed within ceiling molding profiles to create up light on to the coffered ceiling planes and wall washers used to illuminate the perimeter walls adorned with decorative padded upholstery panels. With architectural ceiling and wall planes illuminated, the perceived brightness and hence the spatial envelope is increased as part of the visual experience of the space. The tape light used for the ceiling cove was specified as a RGBW programmable system to allow for the introduction of coloured and colour-changing light to the space to commemorate special events.

In addition, decorative light fittings, designed by Paul Steelman Asia, were located at key locations within the coffered ceiling design as a visual cue to guide guests to the various areas of the gaming floor.

The centre bar, featuring a floor to ceiling brass element, now resembles a peacock thanks to back-lit red crystal jewels within the design. White 2,700K LED light was installed by the custom manufacturer to illuminate the crystals so that when turned on, the red crystals turn orange. A recommendation was made to paint the inside brass cavity of the frame behind the crystal red instead of the natural yellow colour of the brass which, together with the white light of the LED, was affecting the red colour of the crystal turning orange.

At the Northern Noodle restaurant designed by local interior design firm Millwork Inc., the ceiling design was created using suspended wood planks mimicking chop sticks. Red lattice work and decorative pendant lights are used throughout the space to create visual interest. Single circuit track with adjustable LED heads are used to pin spot tables and for general illumination. Track heads fitted with dichroic red lenses are used to illuminate the red lattice wall panels, creating a dramatic effect with the shadow play of red light upon the lattice.

With views of the kitchen ceiling from the main dining areas, custom pendants were designed by FKA to block the view of the open ceiling and provide adequate lighting for the kitchen. In addition, cylinder pendant downlights with 3,000lm output have been designed to be fixed to the inside of a traditional stainless steel Chinese wok and hung from the open ceiling, providing adequate lighting as well as visual interest in an otherwise utilitarian space.