The lighting of the historic Boston City Hall has given new life to this landmark building. Lam Partners worked with the Boston Public Facilities Department and architectural firm Utile to highlight the Kallmann, McKinnell and Knowles building’s original design intent of civic aspiration and monumentality with lighting. LED technology was implemented throughout, providing color-changing flexibility while also helping to meet the city’s sustainability goals. The new scheme removes the unsightly flood lights that were added to the building over the years to make Boston City Hall a more vibrant, safe, and welcoming space at the city’s civic heart.
On a six-acre sacred site in Montgomery, Alabama, this national lynching memorial recognizes the history of racial injustice in our country and serves as a remembrance of the victims and those who fled from racial terror in America. Approaching the memorial, the form is dark and mysterious. As you get closer, a glow from beyond the forest of monuments beckons. At the threshold, massive monuments rest silently on the ground. Quickly the ground begins to give way, spilling light out under each monument. Down the first ramp, each of them is lit from below by a narrow beam of light. As you transition, the monuments are no longer engaged with your body; they now fly above your head. At this point, the lighting for each monument gives way to a pattern of uplights, which create a dappled, uneven effect above.
As the winning entry for the Light Boston Lechmere Viaduct competition, moonPHASE is our take on illuminating this dark MBTA bridge that carries the Green Line over the Charles River near the Museum of Science in Boston. moonPHASE re-engages the head of the Charles River with the lunar cycles and changing daily tides. The span of the bridge will show a gradient of pastel hued light representative of the high and low tides each day, while the arches will pick up the color of tide at that particular moment, slowly cycling up and down. The causeway lights create a marker, cycling through the same cool to warm pattern as each night progresses. moonPHASE bears witness to the temporal relationship between celestial bodies, putting our tenuous relationship with our planet in context.
Light and material work together to create a visual rhythm and a sense of directional movement, flowing through the International Passenger’s Tunnel at McCarran International Airport. Graceful curving lines of light are concealed within the metal panels wrapping from wall to ceiling, fully integrating the lighting hardware into the architectural fabric of the connecting tunnel. Brightness envelops the passenger from all surfaces, enlivening the journey through the subterranean passageway.
Massachusetts State HouseCivic | Exterior
|SIZE:||500,000 sq. ft.|
|OWNERS:||Commonwealth of Massachusetts|
|ARCHITECT:||Goody, Clancy & Associates|
|AWARDS:||2003 IES New England Section Illumination Award|
|2003 National Trust for Historic Preservation Award|
|PHOTOGRAPHER:||© Stephen M. Lee|
|DESIGN TEAM:||Robert Osten|
From its prominent situation atop Beacon Hill, this 18th-century Bulfinch landmark becomes a beacon at night. The previous lighting scheme involved simplistic floods that flattened architectural details; new fixtures are carefully coordinated to accentuate textures, provide depth, and warmly render the red brick and gold leaf colors.
Fixtures are diligently concealed from view, and placed to coincide with existing power sources, in keeping with the strict parameters of restoring a historic structure. Though unobtrusive, fixtures are located with ease of maintenance in mind, and special attention was paid to energy efficiency and long lamp life.
The greatest technical challenge was articulating the curvature of the dome. Newly clad in gold leaf, the shiny surface would tend to deflect light away from the viewer. Fixtures positioned on lower adjacent roofs provide a warm wash from below that catches subtle concentric ribs on the dome; the lantern is lit from within to cast a reflection on the dome’s upper surface. In combination, these strategies define and express the dome’s hemispherical shape; the result is a visually complete architectural icon that is admired at night from vantage points all over the city.
Civic Building at One Veterans PlazaCivic | Exterior
|LOCATION:||Silver Spring, Maryland|
|SIZE:||52,000 sq. ft.|
|ARCHITECT:||Machado and Silvetti Associates, Inc.|
|AWARDS:||2011 IES Illumination Award of Merit|
|2011 AIA Maryland Design Award|
|2011 AIA New England Design Award|
|2011 BSA Honor Award for Design Excellence|
|PHOTOGRAPHER:||© Anton Grassl / Esto, © Lam Partners|
|DESIGN TEAM:||Paul Zaferiou|
A monumental frame creates the backdrop for this urban plaza. The proscenium-like frame comes to life through expansive washes of light, while civic pride glows from within.
High-performance asymmetric floodlights, concealed at the civic building’s roof and base, boldly animate the wood-lined arch to announce the great hall entry. Recessed wallwashers highlight orange interior walls and opal fluorescent pendants adorn the prefunction space.
Community involvement and civic pride forged the project. A beloved swath of Astroturf was transformed into the county civic building, landscaped plaza space, and a multifunction pavilion sheltering a seasonal ice rink, arranged as a sequence of active outdoor rooms within the vibrant retail district.
The pavilion itself grabs center stage when a timeclock starts DMX-controlled evening shows. Color-changing floodlights mounted to catwalks on the roof illuminate diffuse glass panels, and are easily accessed for maintenance.
Steplights integrated into concrete benches form a procession connecting with recessed rectangular downlights indoors. Glowing uplit trees contrast softly with building geometries.
All plaza walkways are illuminated without any pole-mounted hardware – fluorescent handrails even light plaza stairs. Integrated lighting that reinforces the plaza’s main axis allows strolling and socializing without clutter.
The Raleigh-Durham International Airport Terminal 2 combines the region’s heritage and landscape with architectural forms and materials. Its roofs evoke the hills and culture of North Carolina’s Piedmont region, while the daylit interior provides natural, invigorating light for weary travelers. Energy efficient, long life linear fluorescent concealed fixtures provide the majority of the building’s interior illumination. Working with the long extruded form of the concourse, multiple rows of linear fluorescent cove fixtures cross-light the curved ceilings, providing soft ambient lighting for circulation spaces. Holdrooms with reading and seating areas, along with security check points, that require higher light levels, utilize task-focused direct lighting. Careful zoning and circuiting of entire fixture rows allows for multiple light levels to be achieved by simple switching; saving on dimming costs, fixtures respond to daylight conditions and can provide 1/3, 2/3 or full output over the course of the day and under different daylight conditions.
In the larger ticketing hall volume, fully concealed symmetrical distribution metal halide fixtures are hidden on top of ticketing islands at the center of the space to supplement and mix with the fluorescent indirect lighting from the edges. In both conditions, a redundancy is built into the design to maximize the flexibility of desired light levels through careful switching, while also minimizing any possible color shift from one lamp source to another.
Terminal 2’s high-tech design reflects the cutting-edge impact of three universities and numerous bioscience companies in the nearby Research Triangle Park. As the world’s first major airport with a wood truss structure, Terminal 2 provides a warm, inviting passenger experience. Long-span wood trusses create column-free spaces from ticketing to security that are both efficient and flexible. The beautiful trusses and ceilings were designed to remain unmarred by lighting hardware, yet still reflect ambient light to ticketing hall and concourse below; the lighting disappears into the architectural fabric of the building and enhances the experience of the luminous environment.
Orlando Federal CourthouseCivic | Daylighting
|SIZE:||308,000 sq. ft.|
|OWNERS:||General Services Administration|
|ARCHITECT:||Leers Weinzapfel Associates Architects, Inc.|
|AWARDS:||2007 IES New England Section Illumination Award|
|PHOTOGRAPHER:||© Peter Aaron / Esto|
|DESIGN TEAM:||Robert Osten|
The majority of the southern façade of Orlando’s massive new Federal Courthouse is dominated by a glass atrium shielded with an elaborate sunshelf system. Carefully placed linear bars of anodized aluminum provide precise solar glare control during the hot summer months without obstructing the expansive views to the outside. The result, created through extensive scale modeling with photometric and video analysis, is that at all times of the year the atrium feels bathed in comfortable daylight.
Exquisite stained glass art panels in several locations flood the area with rich colors. The atrium is transformed at night into a glowing lantern through the use of integrated metal halide floods that wash the ceiling, and concealed accent fixtures directly lighting the decorative glass panels. Further reinforcing the beacon effect is the illuminated top of the monolithic entry tower which rises above the upper floors containing the courtrooms.
Concealed indirect cove lighting is used in each courtroom to uplight the central coffers and to carry through the feeling of spaciousness from the atrium. A perimeter light slot washes the walls and emphasizes the strong geometric lines of the spaces, while recessed adjustable downlights focus higher light levels at the clerks’ and judges’ benches.
Minimal compact fluorescent downlights fill in where required for proper emergency lighting. A low-voltage lighting control system allows simple lighting scenes to be accessed by keypads located throughout the space.
United States Institute of PeaceCivic
|SIZE:||300,000 sq. ft.|
|OWNERS:||United States Institute of Peace|
|AWARDS:||2011 GE Edison Award|
|2012 IALD Award of Excellence|
|2012 IES Illumination Award of Merit|
|2012 A|L Outstanding Achievement Award|
|PHOTOGRAPHER:||© Glenn Heinmiller|
|DESIGN TEAM:||Paul Zaferiou|
Prominently located near the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the United States Institute of Peace (designed by Safdie Architects) contains offices, an international conference center, education center, research facilities, and public exhibition and event spaces. The wing-like roofs connect the 300,000-square-foot building’s three curving sections, enclosing two atria below. These multi-layer translucent structures presented the most challenging lighting problem – to light the roofs with no visible sources, so they glow softly both inside and outside. Lam Partners designed the pervasive lighting theme that is present throughout: light sources are fully concealed or designed to disappear, revealing and animating, but never competing with the architecture. The result is a visual representation of peace that takes its place in the D.C. skyline.
The translucent steel-frame roofs are comprised of outer diffusing glass and an inner white membrane, with structure sandwiched in between. Extensive computer modeling, material sample testing, and a full-scale mockup in Germany were required to determine the roofs’ transmissive and diffusing characteristics, and to validate the lighting solution.
Perimeter offices are fully daylighted. Clerestories bring daylight into corridors so that they often do not need to be lighted electrically. Inexpensive T5 strips integrated continuously into the curving clerestories’ base keep the ceiling surfaces pristine and provide dual function, indirectly lighting both offices and corridors.
Supplementing the indirect lighting at the clerestories, each office has a custom T5 linear fluorescent pendant downlight with shielding designed to block views into fixtures from outside or in the atria. Lighting is controlled with manual-on occupancy sensors.
One atrium is devoted mainly to research activities, while the other contains mostly conferences and public events. In both atriums, the sense of serenity and the purity of the architecture are preserved, despite the presence of busy offices. The eye is drawn upward to the gracefully arching roof, and glowing daylit ceilings, allowing the atrium roof to remain the focal point.
In the amphitheater, the ceiling itself is the light fixture. Echoing the curving white roof of the atrium, the amphitheater is an ideal venue for conferences. Comfortable levels of illumination for both presenters and audience members were a focus. Concealed dimmable T5HO fluorescent strips in a carefully designed ceiling profile provide high levels of glare-free illumination for videoconferencing, minimizing spill on projection screens. MR16 HIR adjustable accents provide targeted lighting of the presenter and markerboard. Lighting is controlled via an audio-visual touchscreen for seamless selection of lighting scenes for various room configurations.
Integrated into the curving auditorium ceiling, dimmable T5HO forward-throw cove fixtures provide general lighting without recessed fixtures blemishing the dramatic forms. Halogen PAR38 track lighting for the stage is hidden but accessible from the floor below. Recessed PAR38 HIR adjustable accents downlight the stage and wash the stage wall. Slatted walls glow magically with hidden xenon strips lighting the cavity behind, creating a sense of openness. A preset scene dimming system controls all lighting. The result is a unique, yet peaceful, auditorium space that perfectly reflects both the architecture of the building and the Institute itself.
From below, the roof’s pure form and texture is inspiring and calming. Careful lighting design reveals the architecture and provides sufficient light levels, yet avoids the clutter of visible fixtures. T5HO forward-throw cove fixtures in the tops of walls light the atria roofs. Digital addressable ballasts allow light output to be tuned along the roof perimeter and dimmed overall, effectively accentuating the roofs’ curvature. This single source simultaneously provides the interior ambient lighting and the exterior surface glow. Above the uppermost windows, necklaces of matching MR16 HIR halogen and PAR20 CMH adjustable monopoints provide supplemental downlighting – dimmable halogen for banquets and special events, and CMH for energy-efficient punch during winter afternoons and gloomy days.
The roof’s overhang is essential to create the dramatic form of the roof, visible from both the National Mall and from the west of the city. In-grade CMH adjustable accents illuminate the overhang, seamlessly extending the glow outside to the roof’s lowest point.
A central lighting control system employs occupancy sensing, daylight sensing, scheduling, and local preset scene control techniques for maximum energy savings and occupant satisfaction.
The project achieved LEED Gold certification.
Building details and the exterior are also pristine. Stairs are illuminated solely by compact fluorescent sources hidden in plaster niches at the stair sidewalls, eliminating visible hardware in hard-to-reach overhead locations.
No conventional façade lighting is used, minimizing spill light into the sky. The glow from within the building provides most of the site illumination, allowing the remarkable building to speak for itself and allowing views into the soaring atrium. Site lighting consists solely of an LED strip in the curving bench, a soft wash on the inscription, and a few shielded bollards, without any superfluous fixtures to detract from the building’s monumental impact.
Logan International Airport Terminal ECivic
|SIZE:||1,200,000 sq. ft.|
|ARCHITECT:||Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP|
|AWARDS:||2007 IES New England Section Illumination Award|
|PHOTOGRAPHER:||© Douglas A. Salin, © AP Photo / Chitose Suzuki|
|DESIGN TEAM:||Robert Osten|
The striking international terminal at Logan Airport provides a world-class gateway for travel to and from Boston.
The newly expanded and renovated space features separated departure and arrival levels with dramatic multistory spatial connections, replacing the outdated single-level facility. The architecture puts forth a friendly, welcoming ambience in which lighting plays a key role.
The vast ticketing hall features a glowing wall of wood veneer laminated on glass, backlit both with daylight and complementary artificial light sources. The warm light humanizes the hall’s grand civic scale.
Continuing this theme, scrim-like backlit glass columns and walls illuminate the retail hall, entrance vestibule and greeters’ area with a combination of artificial light and daylight from above.