2018 IALD Award Winners
Award of Excellence
United States Courthouse, Los Angeles
by HLB Lighting

Luminaries of the lighting profession gathered at Chicago’s trendy Revel Fulton Market on 9 May to honor the winners of the 35th Annual International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) International Lighting Design Awards. Seventeen projects from eleven countries were on display – including interiors, workspaces, museums, hospitality sites, and a place of worship. This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and inspiring work found anywhere in the world of architectural lighting design.

The design of the United States Courthouse in Los Angeles, CA USA, with lighting design by HLB Lighting, took home an Award of Excellence, accepted in person by E. Teal Brogden, IALD; Hayden McKay, FIALD; and Michael Lindsey, IALD.

Looking to control the environment of court proceedings, courtrooms are often closed off and segregated from the outdoors. This courthouse challenges convention by harnessing, controlling and delivering natural light to public spaces and courtrooms. Whether traversing through the atrium bathed in sunlight or seated in a courtroom able to look out to the daytime sky, the connection to outdoors was critical in influencing a positive human experience.

Optimizing visual comfort in the courtroom, light shelves on both sides of clerestories, integrated electric uplights and 2 sets of motorized shades balance daylight, glare, and transition to the interiors. Adjustable, vertical LED front lighting is provided to the judge and witness area to ensure that luminance ratios remained comfortable. Delivering a luminance ratio of 30:1 or lower between adjacent glazing and people’s faces, long hours within the courtroom result in a more comfortable atmosphere for occupants.

Focused on delivering natural light from a skylight 220 feet above the lobby floor, shaping and material selection of the ceiling skylight proved crucial. Designers began with a design of a flat, six degree sloped skylight with interior mirrored louvers. But the team quickly learned that the mirrored louvers would introduce powerful sun beams causing potential damage to interior surfaces and occupant discomfort.

Instead, HLB designed an exterior sawtooth monitor design with gloss interior surfaces and matte exterior surfaces, resulting in softer daylight in the space – and more effectively, with nearly a 11% increase in delivered light levels to the lobby floor over the baseline system. To correct for the 38° street orientation, the sawtooth articulation of the façade also delivers unobstructed views through transparent glazing when facing north or south, while vertical louvers or opaque enclosures on east/west facing panels control sunlight penetration.

Driven by the client to achieve LEED Platinum certification, both daylighting and electric lighting were early sustainable design targets. Coined the “Drive to 35,” the lighting design team supported the lowering of the overall building energy usage from the original baseline of 47 EUI to 35 EUI, harnessing daylighting and reducing electric light. Introducing controlled natural light into the design allowed for noticeable dimming of lighting fixtures that would otherwise be on, ensuring electric lighting is only used when needed – and reducing thermal heat gain from direct sunlight.

“This is masterful daylighting,” one judge said of the project. “It’s rare for occupants and visitors to experience such a dynamic connection to the sun in a public space.”


E. Teal Brogden, IALD
Hayden McKay, FIALD
Michael Lindsey, IALD
Jae Yong Suk
Lupita Legaspi, Jr. Assoc. IALD
Maura Reinhart, Jr. Assoc. IALD
HLB Lighting Design


Gene Schnair
Michael Mann
Craig Hartman
Paul Danna
Jose Luis Palacio
Susan Bartley
Keith Boswell
Steve Zimmerman
Garth Ramsey
Frank Castillo
Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP

General Contractor
Marc Kersey
Clark Construction Group, LLC

Electrical Subcontractor
Ed Noble
Ron Pierre
Helix Electric

M/E Engineering
Gary Brennen
Syska Hennessy Group

LEED Consulting
Christopher Snee

© Bruce Damonte

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