TILLOTSON DESIGN ASSOCIATES CREATES A FANTASTIC EXPRESSION OF ARCHITECTURAL FORM
Luminaries of the lighting profession gathered at the elegant Crystal Tea Room in Philadelphia, PA USA on 22 May to honor the winners of the 36th Annual International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) International Lighting Design Awards. Twentythree projects from 12 countries were on display—including exteriors, interiors, workspaces, museums, hospitality sites and a place of worship. This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and inspiring architectural lighting design work found anywhere in the world.
The design of the Gateway Arch Museum in St. Louis, MO USA with lighting design by Tillotson Design Associates, took home an IALD Award of Excellence.
The light emanating from the underground plaza at the Gateway Arch Museum invites visitors into the renovated train lobby that leads them to the expansive exhibit space.
Tillotson Design Associates was given a challenge: to create a stunning design that smoothly transitioned visitors from the vast, unobscured day-lit park and plaza through the glazed entrance to the underground floors while remaining within project constraints.
Full-scale mock ups and detailed calculations were manufactured and performed to determine a design that would mitigate the contrast with daylight. To ensure light sources were not visible, the lighting design team also met with architects, ceiling manufacturers and lighting manufacturers. Vital decisions were made regarding material choices, finishes, installation, and how to handle the complex wiring and location coordination for conduits and drivers.
The highlight of the design, the ceiling, was described by one judge as a “fantastic expression of the architectural form.” The design smoothly flows into the curve of the plaza, itself a reflection of the curves of the Saarinen-designed Gateway Arch.
The glowing lobby ceiling is composed of tunable white LEDs that are integrated and concealed in aluminum tubes. Prior to installation, mockups were created in the space as well to ensure feasibility of the model and ideal effects.
Multiple runs of the LEDs are separately zoned for gradual dimming or alterations to color temperature—ranging from 2700K to 5500K—as the ceiling curves down towards the exhibition space. These can also be programmed for event scenes to suit the needed ambiance.
The design also includes glowing perimeter light coves inside each of the coffers, creating a transition space between the dark exhibition and the low-lit underground tram entrances. This offers a mellow environment for visitors to meet, rest or dine.
The entire scheme is a demonstration of how to extend liminal and transitional spaces via lighting, to ensure a smooth and comfortable experience for visitors so that the lighting is not oppressive or overwhelming, but a gentle guiding presence.
Gateway Arch Museum
St. Louis, MO USA
Suzan Tillotson, IALD
Katherine Lindsay, Associate IALD
Tillotson Design Associates
Kate Wyberg McClellan
James Carpenter Design Associates
Trivers Associates Architects
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
Landscape Lighting Designer
McCarthy Building Company
Haley Sharpe Design
Rod Ceiling Manufacturer
© Sam Fentress (Arch Museum_01,Arch Museum_03, Arch Museum_05, Arch Museum_06, Arch Museum_08, Arch Museum_09)
© Nic Lehoux (Arch Museum_02, Arch Museum_04, Arch Museum_07)
© Tillotson Design Associates (Arch Museum_10, Arch Museum_11)