Meet the Builders: Roberto Serra
Introducing our Member, Roberto Serra, Director at Match Lighting Studio!
In our Meet the Builders series, we highlight some of the fantastic people and organisations that make up our community here at The Building Society. They include a wide variety of practices in the built environment who are responsible for ‘building’ and communicating the projects that define our rural and urban landscapes – from designers, engineers and planners to surveyors, developers, photographers, and more!
Tell us a bit about you…
I am from Liguria, a beautiful region of Italy nested between mountains and sea. I studied Engineering in Genova and shortly after completing my Master’s degree I came to London for what was meant to be a temporary work and life experience that is currently entering its 22nd year(!), during which I specialised in lighting design. I admire Architecture and I am passionate about lighting and how it profoundly influences everything we see and feel.
I love dinghy and offshore sailing, the contact with nature, playing and listening to music, playing cards and all sorts of social games, making my two little kids laugh (enjoying while it lasts!).
And the organisation you work for?
Match Lighting Studio is a lighting design consultancy I co-founded in 2015 with friends Vanesa Quintia and Ray Pang. We support Architects, Interior Designers, Developers as well as Home Owners with inspiring, reliable, meaningful lighting schemes on projects of both commercial and residential nature throughout the UK and Europe.
We are located in London and Manchester, as well as La Coruna, Spain.
Our mission is to bring good quality lighting into all sorts of spaces and into the lives of people, as we believe that good lighting is key for completing and enhancing architecture, art, as well as the livelihood and wellbeing of people.
Tell us about a project or initiative you’re proud of.
I will mention two very different projects that are representative of our diverse work: the first is a large commercial centre in Prague, with a large and eclectic project team spread out across several countries, a tight programme and challenging volumes to tackle from a lighting perspective.
The second is a private house we recently completed in Holland Park, with much tighter volumes and a very high bar set by the client in terms of design quality and integration. In both instances, a proactive and intense collaboration with the design teams, where knowledge was shared and unconventional design solutions discussed with an open mind and implemented with exceptional attention to detail, led to a wonderful outcome and very happy clients.
At The Building Society we are united by a purpose: to engineer a better society. Is there one particular change you’d like to see in the way things are done in the built environment?
Good lighting has the power to substantially enhance the quality of the built environment and the well-being of individuals.
However, lighting tends to be overlooked until the late stages of projects and often without the involvement of independent lighting experts.
I would like to see lighting expertise sought after in the early stages of projects, whether small or large: this will lead to quality lighting schemes driven by purpose, context, people, performance and aesthetics, rather than profit, with budgets optimised rather than minimised and the original design intents and responsible product specification protected all the way through construction and to completion.
Favourite thing about working in a coworking and collaboration space?
Sharing a working space with others, optimising its use and occupation, is part of a more responsible work ethic. But The Building Society offers much more, allowing us to implement a flexible working practice while offering the opportunity of socialising and making connections with other relevant companies and individuals. It feels good being part of this great and lively community.
What are your desert island essentials?
A sailing boat to explore the world around, my guitar to entertain the local wildlife and… a lighthouse!
Pictured projects include: Westfield, Prague and Herbal House, London (photographed by PARK.LC)