Winner in Interior Architectural Illumination

Union Station Great Hall Restoration

  • Company
  • Lead Designer
    Erin Held
  • Categories
    Winner in Interior Architectural Illumination
  • Location
    Chicago, United States

The iconic Great Hall inside Chicago’s Union Station was designed in 1925, but an aging skylight had led to water damage and deterioration. A 42-month project began to provide repairs and improvements, including restoring the skylight and original color scheme.
A previous energy efficiency upgrade to the lighting had installed large induction flood lights that were very visible from below. Since the focal point of the Great Hall is the skylight, the new lighting needed to play a supportive role and not take away from its architectural presence.
New LED cove lights on the second floor ledge wrap the hall, calling attention to space's volume and intricate plaster detailing. Inground column uplights provide brightness at pedestrian level, and color changing grazers allow the station to customize for events. At adjacent stair and mezzanine areas the original chandeliers were restored and upgraded to LED. Low profile cove lights and discreet downlights were added to increase light levels to balance with the hall. All lighting is now dimmable and controllable. With this new lighting design, the station is able to provide ambiance and a new experience to travelers and visitors alike.