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Rothko Chapel

Prize(s) Winners in Daylighting
Company George Sexton Associates, LLC
Lead Designers George Sexton Associates, LLC
Other Designer's names George S. Sexton, III, IES, IALD, Owen Brady, Chen Liu
Architecture Company Architecture Research Office
Client Rothko Chapel Board of Directors
Photo Credits Elizabeth Felicella Photography
Completion Date 7/11/2020
Project Location Houston, Texas
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Entry Description

The Rothko Chapel was originally conceived as a naturally illuminated space for the display of Mark Rothko’s paintings. The brightness of the skylight was visually overpowering the paintings and allowed excessive illumination levels that could be damaging.
The lighting design team sought to restore the original form and proportions of the skylight while addressing the problems of the original design. They developed a louver system that follows the profile of the original skylight while gently washing the perimeter walls with natural light.
The new design uses supplemental artificial lighting for the paintings, provided by a set of digital projectors concealed at the skylight ring. Light from the projectors is directed to the perimeter walls via a set of mirrors suspended below.
Exterior framing projectors illuminate Barnett Newman’s Broken Obelisk sculpture, providing precise control of glare and spill light.
The renovation project includes a new Welcome House adjacent to the Chapel. Discreet recessed lighting creates an inviting ambiance for visitors.
Company Description

George Sexton Associates is a full-service global architectural lighting design firm. We bring our broad experience in problem solving skills with creativity to integrate lighting that is budget minded and environmentally sensitive. We are team directed and bring a full range of technical expertise in solving artificial lighting and natural lighting challenges.