Put a light in the window.
A glowing window at night is intriguing. It can be inviting, menacing, comforting or romantic.
It tells a story that someone is home, or that a building is occupied. A bluish-white flickering light can mean television is being watched with the lights off. A bright warm light can mean a family gathering or party is happening. A single desk lamp signals someone is working late.
As large-scale buildings become more glass and steel and less brick and mortar, we start to lose intimacy of single glowing windows to facades of stacked fish tanks. Both are beautiful in their own ways, but there is something about an old masonry building, and its transition from day to night that is special.
We can’t say much about this current project, except that our lighting approach for the exterior is all about the windows.
Our project, like many older industrial masonry buildings, has undergone many transformations, as demands changed, and neighborhoods evolved. Its embarking on an exciting new reworking that honors its origins with a thoughtful and extensive renovation.
Though the building has many defining characteristics, its rounded windows presented us with the most exciting opportunity for lighting. And better yet, the once removed shutters are being restored and reattached.
Our concept is to illuminate the windows from their deep sill to highlight their shape and keep the fixtures from view, to create the illusion that light is spilling from the interior. A selection of the shutters will be set at angles to create the illusion they are still operable, and to add texture to the facades.
Though it seems a simple lighting challenge, we needed to build a mock-up to test multiple options and to see if we could highlight the shutters to maximize the impact of their angling.
We agreed the simplest solution, a single linear LED grazer, is the appropriate approach. But the real test will be an on-site mock-up. We will share our results in a future post.
Location, New York City
Project Rendering by Charlie Dumais
Lighting Diagrams by Aldo Trejo
Mock-up by Carlos Edeza and Santiago Flores