Delhi is a convenient stopover on the way to Australia, and one of which Andre Tammes, founder of Lighting Design Partnership (ldp), has been making ample use recently. His Australian business is booming, with not only the relighting of the Sydney Opera House but also the lighting of lobb Sports Architecture's Olympic stadium and a lighting masterplan for the whole of Sydney.
So vibrant is the Australian scene, where ldp has had an office since the start of last year, that Tammes plans to relocate there from March until the millennium. But until then he is flying back and forth frequently, with those stop-offs in Delhi because the company's business is also thriving in India. It is lighting the Indira Gandhi National Centre of the Arts (architects American Ralph Lerner and Jasbir Sawhney) which is being built on a 25ha site in New Delhi and which Tammes describes as 'like the South Bank and the British Library put together'. Other projects include hotels, and Tammes is committed to opening an office in the city.
In the meantime, he is looking forward to working in Australia, which in terms of lighting design 'is where we were 12 years ago, with a very small number of firms all coming from an electrical engineering background'. He adores the fact that 'they are willing to try you out. You can cold- call an architect and they will respond'. He describes the Opera House as 'a showstopper, gooseflesh stuff', and was thrilled by helicopter rides in the Sydney sunset as part of the masterplanning exercise. Other projects include the Ansett Domestic Air Terminal and the Central Synagogue at Bondi.
But Tammes will be keeping in touch with his offices in London and in Edinburgh (where the company did its first lighting masterplan, and is currently bidding to light the Edinburgh Tattoo). And he is 'flattered' that he is not being allowed to give up his professorship of light and lighting at the Bartlett.
Tammes' history is as a theatrical lighting designer who moved almost accidentally into consultancy in the 1970s when there was a boom in provincial theatre building, with the work being done by architects new to the field. Tammes, who 'knew nothing about architecture', became aware that 'lighting was being handled in architectural terms in a quite extraordinary fashion. A vastly complex process was being handed over to the manufacturers of lighting equipment.' He decided to do something about this and Lighting Design Partnership was born.