Watt Plaza lobby ceiling crowned with suspended lighting display

Renovated to 1579 m2 (17,000 sf) STUDIOS Architecture has revealed a light-filled space nearly six times the original size. Photo courtesy Bruce Damonte

The newly redesigned Watt Plaza Lobby in Central City, California, has reopened with a massive decorative light display by Canadian lighting studio Archilume. The result is a light fixture of 350 individually mounted P1M LED luminaires.

First designed in the 1980s by architect Gin Wong, the lobby of the Watt Building is situated between two 23-story towers. Renovated to 1579 m2 (17,000 sf) STUDIOS Architecture has revealed a light-filled space nearly six times the original size. Plaza was the first LEED Platinum-certified office high-rise building in Century City, California. Utilizing Archilume’s P1M low wattage, low output fixtures in a large quantity allowed the design to be compliant under the stringent CA Title 24 code, which contributed to the overall LEED goal.

Lighting design specialists Banks Landl Lighting Design (previously Hiram Banks Lighting Design) were brought on board for the project. BLLD designed a template system for the overall 15’x19’ (4.5 x 5.7 m) lighting cove area in the ceiling with which the contractor could simply layout the individual mounting points and required wiring. BLLD’s lighting design template was projected from the floor, using a laser to mark each of the installation positions. Each fixture was then mounted at a different cable length.

To date, the Watt Plaza Lobby has been awarded the IIDA SC Calibre Award, Best Public & Community Space (2021), and the ENR California Award, Best Regional Project, Renovation/Restoration (2021).

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Watt Plaza lobby ceiling crowned with suspended lighting display