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550 Madison Avenue Lobby

Prize(s) Winners in Ambient Lighting
Company KGM Architectural Lighting
Lead Designers Stacie Dinwiddy
Other Designer's names Martin van Koolbergen, Dorothy Underwood, Stacey Bello
Architecture Company Gensler
Client Olayan Group
Photo Credits James Ewing
Completion Date February 2022
Project Location New York, New York
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Entry Description

Seeking to complement the volume of this iconic tower transformation, the lighting design for this soaring ground floor lobby emphasizes the ethereal, pensive quality of the space while honoring the simple, classic forms and materials. Mindful of concealing all specified light sources, surfaces and edges appear to radiate light, with no distractions to compromise the visitors’ experience. In deference to the original design, the original oculus was kept and reilluminated with tunable white sources to account for natural light entering throughout the day. A suspended 24-ton blue-marble sphere art installation in the lobby center is lit, giving the illusion of a piece of sky brought down to ground level. Lighting of this piece not only perfectly highlights the art, but also the terrazo floor, which is made from the crushed pink granite that originally adorned the walls.

The dynamism of the space is translated throughout the day via a tunable white programmed control system. The amount of natural light that penetrates the space from north and south was fundamental in the approach to artificial lighting. Quantity and color of light were tested and retested over various mock-ups using the complex control system to ensure a seamless transition of both color temperature and intensity of light from dawn to evening.