TopHotelNews – The big interview of Boris Duhamel
The big interview: Boris Duhamel, founder and CEO of Baseline
In a TOPHOTELNEWS exclusive interview, Boris Duhamel, the founder and CEO of Baseline Lighting Design Studio, reveals how he and his team are building a profile in hospitality off the back of the business’ leading reputation in retail.
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Hong Kong’s Eastern District boasts a dynamic gem in the lighting design sphere: Baseline. With the company reaching a milestone decade of trading, TOPHOTELNEWS caught up with Duhamel to see how the firm’s international high end hotel portfolio is progressing.
What does your role involve?
I understand market trends and define strategies to provide clients with innovative solutions. As our creative director I create unique luxury atmospheres with a twist to make clients’ hotel spaces addictive for guests. I am building up a culture of listening and focus on providing solutions.
Could you tell us about your career to date?
Since I created Baseline Lighting Design Studio 10 years ago, I have continuously learned about the lighting industry. I have built up a versatile organisation with empathic people that understand clients’ needs and constraints and focus on providing adequate solutions.
We are already the leading lighting designer for luxury retail in Asia, so since 2018 we have been growing our hospitality sector business. We offer pragmatic best practices enabling clients to achieve their desired design quickly and within budget. I am proud of our design team and creative company culture.
What key hotel projects have you undertaken?
Among others, we worked on MGM’s The Mansion, a five star exclusive hotel and resort in Macau, with French architect Jacques Garcia. This masterpiece with 27 private villas, VIP gambling rooms and restaurants has a particularly baroque stylish design requiring much creativity to create a luxury lighting atmosphere with concealed fixtures.
We did Pullman Hotel in Hong Kong alongside designer DWP, which called for a complete redesign of the famous Park Lane property. The style is modern, and the atmosphere can be tailored in various areas such as the bedrooms, lounge, ballroom and the iconic Sky bar using a smart control system.
We proudly worked on some eco-resorts, such as Cross Hoi An Resort & Residence in Vietnam or Villa Estrelas Atins in Brazil, utilising a minimalist approach to lighting, playing with the natural environment and local resources.
Construction is about to complete for the complex Wyndham Soleil project in Danang, Vietnam. Comprising four towers of 50 stages each, the project saw us working with Aedas architects to create a styled lighting design. The hotel features a modern classic design with an iconic piece in the lobby. The façade reflects a coral reef image at night through the tropical landscape, where lighting gives life to the trees and plants. A luxury shopping mall on the ground floor is a symbol of modernity, hosting top tier luxury brands, while the three apart-hotel towers are a functional and modern decorative inspiration.
What achievement are you most proud of in your career?
Over the past 10 years I have built a team of passionate expert designers and engineers delivering excellence to our clients and partners. With sustainable application at heart, they are LEED Green Associates, and are trained to comply with environmental lighting requirements.
We won an Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) award last year for our lighting design at Shanghai restaurant bar and lounge, Ce La Vie. Crystallising the energy of various talents from different origins and cultures requires much patience but the result achieved is stunning. Nelson Mandela was right: “It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
What’s been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been to gain a level of patience that enabled me to cross raging seas. Become stronger from failures and be able to reinvent oneself and the company strategy. Starting from a vision to dramatise lighting atmospheres to create emotions, I’ve fine tuned myself to lead my team to success.
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