Ten New York Lighting Designers Receive 2007 Lumen Awards


The Illuminating Engineering Society New York Section (IESNY) announced the recipients of the 2006 Lumen Awards for excellence, professionalism, ingenuity, and originality in lighting design at the 39th annual Lumen Gala on June 13 in New York City.

The ten awards were be presented in three categories: The Lumen Citation, a special recognition for an art installation, technical detail, portion of a single project, temporary installation or other work; and the Lumen Award of Merit, in recognition of a permanent architectural application, and the Lumen Award of Excellence, which is not necessarily given annually, but when a project is so superior that the jury feels it deserves the highest honor.

Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design’s (CBBLD) was honored with the Award of Excellence for 7 World Trade Center. From its inception, the design team of architects, designers, manufacturers, and the client sought to create a building with the presence, dignity, and energy to herald a new beginning for the World Trade Center site. The specific challenge of the lighting designers was how to mask transformer vaults in a seven-story base. The solution was the creation of a custom shimmering light and metal screen that wraps around an entire city block and is one of the largest interactive LED walls in the world.

For additional Live Design coverage on this project see Lucky Number Seven

The illumination of the iconic Coney Island Parachute Jump, designed by Leni Schwendinger Light Projects and CBBLD’s lighting design for the Minneapolis Central Library’s Children’s Reading Room received Lumen Citations. A special Citation for Daylighting was awarded to Tanteri + Associates for the Museo de Arte de Ponce.

For additional Live Design coverage on this project see Colors on Coney Island

Awards of Merit were presented to the Renfro Design Group for the 21C Museum Hotel, Tillotson Design Associates for the lighting of the Alessi Flagship Store, Fisher Marantz Stone’s Georgia Aquarium, Arc Light Design’s Millennium Hilton Bangkok, Sachs Morgan Studio’s lighting design for Temple Emanu-El, and Ann Schiffers lighting of Third Point.

“The New York lighting community literally shines when it comes to creativity and technical savvy, says Randy Sabedra,” president of the IESNA, New York Section, and RSL Lighting. Receiving a Lumen Award has become a highly regarded honor in the lighting industry, especially in a section, like New York, that has so many talented designers.”

The Lumen Awards program is not a competition per se, as each project submitted is evaluated on its own merit. Joan Blumenfeld, FAIA, LEED, IIDA, principal, Perkins+Will, 2007 AIA/NY Chapter President, Ken Douglas, IALD, IES, LC, principal, Illumination Arts, Ann Kale, IALD, president, Ann Kale Associates, Joanne Lindsley, FIALD, FIES, LC, president, Lindsley Consultants, Caleb A. Mackenzie, IESNY, LC, senior associate, T. Kondos Associates, William Menking, founder and editor, The Architect’s Newspaper, and Shawn Sullivan, principal, Rockwell Group, comprised this year’s jury.

The Lumens Awards are sponsored by the IESNY and are part of the International Illumination Design Awards (IIDA) program of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA). Lighting projects that receive Lumen Awards or Citations of Merit from the New York Section become eligible for Regional and International IIDA Awards.

Some 40 years ago, the IESNY got the idea to create an annual program around projects being sent on to the IESNA for further judging. The first few Lumen Award presentations were one and two table events at a local restaurant. By 1977, it had grown to six tables and by 1996, 16 tables. The 2007 Gala, has over 70 tables reserved for celebrants from various sectors of the industry – manufacturers, consultants, lighting designers, interior designers, architects, and academics.

A special Section Service Meritorius Award was presented to the Lumen Committee co-chairs and IESNY members of the board of managers, Carrie Knowlton Hawley, associate principal and Shoshanna Segal, associate, both of Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design for growing the Lumen Awards and Gala into the successful program it is today.

The festivities stopped momentarily to posthumously honor Jules Horton, a recognized leader and innovator in the architectural lighting arena and founder in 1968 of Horton Lighting Design, now Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design. Jules Horton who died at age 87 this past winter was responsible for a number of large-scale lighting projects for mentoring over 100 lighting designers throughout his career.

The IESNY is a non-profit membership organization and a partner organization at the Center for Architecture. The New York Section is part of the IESNA whose mission is to improve the lighted environment by bringing together those with lighting knowledge and by translating that knowledge into actions that benefit the public and to promote the art and science of lighting to its members, allied professional organizations and the public. Last year, the IESNY celebrated its 100th year of service to the community.


Award of Excellence

Project: Seven World Trade Center
Lighting Design: Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design
Architect: Skidmore Owings and Merrill / James Carpenter Design Associates
Client: Silverstein Properties

Technical obstacles were overcome to find an ingenious and artistic way to hide 80’ of transformer vaults at the base of the building. A glimmering light and stainless steel screen wall with embedded white and blue LEDs, has a cutout that exposes a light cube in the lobby that changes from violet to light blue and then darker blue as the evening progresses. As people pass by the podium light wall, their movements are captured and shadowed by way of a strip of blue light.

“From its genesis, 7 WTC was an extraordinary experience requiring a rare level of collaboration between the architects, designers, client and manufacturers. The team was always very conscious of the profound responsibility that went into erecting the first building on the post 9/11 site and was dedicated to ensuring its significance, beauty, and reverence. “ —Francesca Bettridge, lighting designer

“The lighting takes a blank and forbidding wall and turns it into an interactive sculpture.”
—Joan Blumenfeld, juror

Citation Awards

Project: Illumination of the Coney Island Parachute Jump, Brooklyn, NY
Lighting Design: Leni Schwendinger Light Projects
Client: STV
Engineer: STV
Owner: New York City Department of Parks & Recreation
Project Partnership: Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz’s Office, New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, New York City Economic Development Corporation

The lighting scheme was designed to evoke the thrill of the famous amusement ride. Through rhythm and color, floodlights and LEDs appear to dance in six unique computer programmed sequences designed for different occasions throughout the year. Seen from a distance, the omni-directional tower, illuminated 365 days a year, is a beacon for the redevelopment of the area.

“All of my exterior projects include dusk-to-dawn work in wind and weather. For the Coney Island Parachute Jump, the design team spent long, thrilling nights by the ocean side programming luminous sequences against a black sky. I am honored to have contributed to the Coney Island after dark experience, and to Brooklyn’s overall identity.” —Leni Schwendinger, lighting designer

“Wow! Which is really what Coney Island was all about!” —Shawn Sullivan, juror

Project: Minneapolis Central Library Children's Reading Room
Lighting Design: Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design
Architect: Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects / Architectural Alliance Project Owner

A theme of transparency, openness, and light defines the new library in a city known for its gray days and cold winters. For the children’s library, a linear ceiling element was reworked into a radial pattern that created a canopy over the space. Wooden tree-like structures with color changing LEDs hidden in their branches add touch playfulness.

“The library is certainly one of the most beautiful projects I have worked on. What struck me most was how thrilled the public was with the building from the instant they stepped through the doors. They genuinely embraced the space as their own. As a designer, I could expect no greater reward.” —Francesca Bettridge, lighting designer

“It glows from inside out giving it a glorious welcoming street presence in this northing city known for its long days. The interior is no less warm and inviting due to its superb lighting.” —William Menking, juror

Citation for Daylighting

Project: Museo de Arte de Ponce, Puerto Rico
Lighting Design: Tanteri + Associates
Architect: Luis Gutierrez Architects
Client: Museo de Arte de Ponce

As part of the renovation of Edward Durrell Stone’s 1965 building, one of the finest sunlit museums in the world, redesigned skylight frames with a custom translucent glazing unit and fluorescent uplighting that respects the original design and provides diffused UV-free sunlight at half the previous light levels. It performs so well electric light is not required during most of the museum's operational hours.

“Our work required that we carefully address conservation issues. At the same time, we wanted to retain the viewing experience of the collection and building itself, of which the unique characteristics of sunlight was so much an established part. Although our initial thought was to take the museum out of the sun, what we came to realize was that we couldn’t take sunlight out of this museum—it was what gave it its life.” —Matthew Tanteri, lighting designer, daylighting consultant

“The sculpting of daylight in this project really stands out and is so often overlooked as a source for effect and theatricality.” —Shawn Sullivan, juror

Merit Awards

Project: 21C Museum Hotel, Lexington, KY
Lighting Design: Renfro Design Group
Architect: Deborah Berke & Partners Architects; K. Norman Berry Associates
Client: 21C Museum Hotel

This combination boutique hotel, restaurant, and museum exhibits 21st-century art. It was carved from five adjacent 19th-century buildings on historic Main Street. The lighting is discreet and flexible, focusing attention on the changing exhibitions displayed throughout the hotel.

“We are very pleased to be a part of this project which is such an important new addition to downtown Louisville’s economic and cultural rebirth. It is exciting to see that great art and architecture can help draw people back to the city center.” —Richard Renfro, lighting designer

“All the lighting is well done, but the lighting in the courtyard turns an ordinary space into an installation reminiscent of Dan Flavin.” —Joan Blumenthal, juror

Project: Alessi Flagship Store, New York, NY
Lighting Design: Tillotson Design Associates
Architect: Asymptote
Client: Alessi US

A combination of whimsically arranged light sources and nine undulating luminous stripes across the ceiling and walls give the corridor like retail space structure and the illusion of vastness. The predominance of reflective surfaces demands very controlled use of pin spots to highlight products without glare, while the reflection of the diffuse stripes creates exciting patterns of warped lines.

“This was an incredibly exciting but also challenging retail project due to the complex geometries of the ceilings and walls, and the wide, but very shallow troughs we had for the ‘stripes of light.’” —Suzan Tillotson, lighting designer

“Especially at night, the curb appeal for this project is phenomenal. If one happened to pass by this shop, they would be hard-pressed not to wonder in.” —Shawn Sullivan, juror

Project: Georgia Aquarium, Atlanta, GA
Lighting Design: Fisher Marantz Stone
Architect: TVS; Peckham Guyton Albers & Viets; Heery International
Client: Georgia Aquarium

An acrylic tunnel and viewing windows separate visitors from blue seas, coral reefs, waves washing overhead, and the stars of the show—nearly 100,000 fish. The lighting design sought to re-create the magic of life underwater while simultaneously addressing animal husbandry needs and exhibition requirements.

“We used theatrical lighting techniques to create visual delight and to achieve some suspension of disbelief both on and under water. We had to temper these theatrical aspirations with the practical and prescriptive requirements of marine biology and for animal husbandry. Each of the five spectacular exhibits called for unique technical solutions as we employed color, angle, and intensity to meet the artistic and scientific demands of the project.” —Charles G. Stone, lighting designer

“The lighting of an aquarium is a complex assignment. The designer must meet he needs of the huge variety of creatures that live there, while at the same time crating a stimulating , educational and entertaining environment for the large variety of visitors who came through the space and this project succeeds.” —Kenneth A. Douglas

Project: Millennium Hilton Bangkok, Thailand
Lighting Designer: Arc Light Design
Architect/Interior Designer: BARstudio
Client: Millennium Hilton Bangkok

In order to create a dramatic space and reduce the built volume, a swath was cut through the public spaces. The lighting concept was to heighten the drama in these huge spaces with massively scaled decorative fixtures that provide a glow and accent at the level of the guests.

“The decorative fixtures in this project are truly inventive. Each space has some material, craft or technique that is memorable.” —Shawn Sullivan, juror

Project: Temple Emanu-El, New York, NY
Lighting Designer: Sachs Morgan Studio
Architect: Beyer Blinder Belle
Client: Temple Emanu-El

The renovation revealed original, exquisite polychrome ceiling, tiles, and mosaics. Lighting levels were increased without adding new penetrations or the appearance of supplemental lighting. Inaccessible stained glass windows, once dark, were backlit to create the appearance of daylight and to once again inspire awe.

“Nothing makes a lighting designer succeed ike a subject of extraordinary beauty. After that, one homes for a remarkable owner and architect. One this project we got them all. Temple Emanu-El gave clear instructions – respect the integrity of the original design, don’t modernize the place, and if it wasn’t there to start with, don’t add it now.” —Roger Morgan, lighting designer

“The lighting of one of New York’s greatest religious spaces hightlights the building’s spectacular ceiling without calling attention to itself. It proves how great lighting design— which is often overlooked by architecture critics, can make or break a completed project.” —William Menking, juror

Project: Third Point, New York, NY
Lighting Design: Ann Schiffers Lighting Design
Architect: Slade Architecture; TPG
Client: Third Point

The lighting design plays an important supporting role in the bold architecture of this Midtown penthouse office. A high-gloss black wall contrasts with a soft luminous ceiling composed of stretched fabric over a metal frame. A cloud-like glass treatment provides privacy yet maintains views of the city for all, giving the illusion everyone is floating in the cityscape.

It’s like working in the clouds!” —Ann Schiffers, lighting designer

“A consistently unconventional approach makes every space mysterious an intriguing. This is particularly striking as it is a workplace rather than a residence, where this sort of creativity is difficult to accomplish. The lighting is restrained and minimal.” —Joan Blumenfeld, juror

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