Consisting in a new intervention into a significant central DC site that incorporates a collection of 19 historic structures, the lighting for this LEED Gold certified 11-story office and retail project includes a full range of public space illumination from lobbies to courtyards to fitness, lounge, meeting rooms, and roof terraces. Taking cues from the architectural fabric, form, and expression, the lighting serves to draw attention to the play of its spatial and formal manifestations. Beginning with the three entrance lobbies, the spaces shift and move to allow a flow through volumes with grazed vertical stone surfaces and simple uniform downlighting.
A highlight of the project includes two curvilinear glass tube walls (that echo select building facades) that are animated with the interplay of internally and externally concealed light sources in dialogue with a fluted clear inner tube as well as a smooth clear outer tube. Inspired by the great Richard Kelly, we sought a way to make these tube walls into a kind of homage. After experimenting with a variety of textures, films, and backdrops in a full height mockup offsite, the use of internal 10 degree white light spotlights at top and bottom in consort with the white finished backdrop were found to effectively provide “focal glow” and consequent general illumination to the space in front with some supplemental use of recessed downlights. The interesting discovery was in our search for sparkle, naturally occurring in the use of the undulating specular finish of the glass from a variety of sources… we found that the use of a scribed cove mounted series of pucklights at the top of the wall – one per tube – provided “a play of brilliants” that ensured a dynamic interplay with movement through the lobbies. As such, these feature walls each dominate the identities of the east and west lobbies while also softly creating a cadenced backdrop to the elegantly appointed volumes of stone.
Textile art appointed behind the east and west lobby reception desks are washed and accented with slot integrated track heads offering an interesting trompe-l’oeil expression of faceted metalwork. Each of the two lobbies are separated by a hybrid historic structure that serves to connect these stone-clad volumes with a regulated brick faced expression that is washed with downlights and edge illuminated to reveal the new juxtaposed with the old with a contrasting but feel-good vibe.