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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 Mt. Fuji Heritage Centre in Fujinomiya-Shi, Shizuoka-ken, Japan with lighting design by Lighting Planners Associates, took home an IALD Award of Excellence.

A gentle glow illuminates the base of the imposing lattice façade of the Mt. Fuji Heritage Centre in Shizuoka, Japan, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Visitors enter the main gallery, which is clad in this lattice of Japanese cypress that reflects the shape of Mt. Fuji into a pool of water. As the display is visible from the interior and the exterior, the challenge for Lighting Planners Associates was to create a design that accommodated both situations while creating continuous lighting effects.

By working with the architects and the landscape designer, the lighting designers were able to determine the best solution for concealing the underwater fixtures while displaying the natural stonecovered pool bottom.

Outdoor challenges also included neighboring residences. To respect their needs, low direct lighting shines only on the reverse-shaped cone to minimize light pollution. Exact angles and positions were determined after extensive simulations and testing.

The primary challenge to lighting the lattice structure indoors was the high traffic from gallery visitors. After testing multiple materials through mockups, a grating was selected to cover the light fixtures and prevent unexpected color shadow or dispersion. These wall-mounted and buried fixtures uplight the lattice wall, creating a soft display light, adding dimensionality to the structure.

Upon entering the gallery visitors see digital images along the spiral scope, giving the sensation of mountain climbing. All items in the gallery are dimly lit and display item lighting is programmed to stay at a suitable brightness level.

At the top of the slope, visitors see Mt. Fuji through the picture window. Several downlights in the shape of the constellations seen from Mt. Fuji are placed above the window, an amusing lighting detail.

The lighting design offers visitors an opportunity to experience another side of Mt. Fuji and celebrate the worthy work of the centre.


Mt. Fuji Heritage Centre,
Shizuoka Fujinomiya-shi,
Shizuoka-ken, Japan


Kaoru Mende, FIALD
Mari Kubota, Associate IALD
Motoyo Yano, Associate IALD
Yumi Honda, Associate IALD
Lighting Planners Associates


Shigeru Ban Architects

Studio On Site

Exhibition Area

Structural + MEP Engineering

Environmental Strategy

Project Owner
Shizuoka Prefecture

© Toshio Kaneko, Lighting Planners Associates

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