Crosswater Eco-Lodge Resort, Nankunshan, Guangdong, China: 2014-15

HDA, our associate office in China was engaged by the resort developer to provide a concept lighting design for the interiors and exterior facades to Stage 2 of this eco-tourism project. LightPlan’s James Wallace was HDA’s Director of Lighting Design and Team Leader for this particular project.

Lighting Design Theme: less is more

The inspiration for the overall lighting design theme “less is more” is drawn from a phrase adopted by renowned architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. In this case, “less is more” describes a precept for minimalist design in which the lit subject is reduced to its most necessary elements.

The Four Views

The overall lighting design considers four distinct views associated with the location and movement of the visitor at night. In response, four “layers of light” have been integrated into the overall concept.

The Distance View: Thematic Goal


A minimal night-time interpretation of both architectural forms and nature-scapes when viewed from a distance will enable the visitor to perceive the whole. A luminous narrative will embellish the nature-scapes in the valleys so as to interpret the meeting of two rivers.

The Traversing View: Thematic Goal


Selected architectural facades, building elements and landscaped treatments will be creatively lit so as to act as lighting guides providing a way-finding experience at night for traversing visitors in vehicles.

The Pedestrian View: Thematic Goal


Opportunities of discovery and contemplation will be experienced at strategic nodes and around the turn of each corner while walking along pathways and pedestrian-ways at night. A rhythm of pedestrian-scale lighting treatment along established paths will provide familiar way-finding to desired destinations.

The Internal View: Thematic Goal


The interior architecture and associated decorative elements will be redefined by light at night and selectively illuminated to reinforce form, function, mood and ecological sustainability.

A seamless transition between interior and exterior lighting treatments will prompt the ebb and flow of human movement. The thoughtful application of warm soft lighting will visually reinforce interior architecture and enhance finishes and features. Private locations will be easily created via smart lighting control. Visitors will feel a heightened sense of wellbeing making it hard to leave.