At this year’s Luxies we were surprised and humbled to win the Award of Excellence in Interior Lighting Design for our project 160 Spear. It’s an honor to be recognized amongst such talent. Thank you to the IES San Francisco chapter for this distinction!
160 Spear was a dreary tunnel-like lobby cutting through a downtown San Francisco tower. The designers were tasked with developing a lighting scheme that folded into the architectural vision for masking the existing infrastructure. Expectations soared for achieving a momentous design that transformed the lobby axis into a modern, sculptural event.
Developing the technical backbone for the effortless look required rigor and creative thinking. To balance windows and create a singular experience, the space called for uniform illuminance. However, the puzzle-like array of varying triangles produced areas with different lumen outputs. The designer collaborated with the Architect to refine the ceiling using many calculation iterations to equalize the quest for footcandles and the skinny Title 24 energy allowances.
A full-scale foam core mock-up revealed new challenges: how can we achieve continuous illumination all the way to the end of each point where multiple triangles vertices intersect? Due to the tapering of the knife-edge coves down to virtually nothing, it was impossible pass electrical inspection for access. The solution was to modify the ceiling cants to achieve openings of 3 inches wide at 10 feet. The designer worked directly with the Contractor to develop a method of installing long fixtures using Velcro to slide the fixtures into place and allow access 10 feet from ends. Wire management and feed points were worked through in the mock-up to prevent any possibility of shadowing.
In contrast to the luminous ceiling, light at the wood alcoves was intentionally omitted to create negative space and a quiet visual pause. At reception, trimless downlights were detailed into the custom wood ceiling panels to provide warm task light.
Efforts resulted in a seamless, lifting experience that feels more like an art installation than a corporate lobby. It achieves the client’s vision for a signature space – both technically and artistically.