This 6,000-sq.-ft. residence in the highly coveted 90210 zip code contains a continuously evolving and rotating art collection that requires flexible and efficient lighting.
The exterior complements the bright, spacious feeling right from the moment guests approach the softly illuminated colonnade with limestone walkways that appear to be floating above water. By day, the columns create a strong sense of entry. At night, they are uplit to generate a sense of monumentality that draws visitors into the entrance. The secret to the effect is in the lighting selection: Ingrade low-wattage, adjustable halogen-infrared MR16 fixtures provide enough light that no decorative fixtures are needed to clutter the clean façade. Linear LED fixtures were then employed to create floating plinths at the entrance.
Similarly, linear lighting was incorporated into the steps surrounding the perimeter of the home, giving the illusion of a light source that was deep within the ground emanating through the various planes in the architecture. Sculptural landscape elements are highlighted with warm-white LED sources. In this manner, the designers aimed to turn the house into a lantern, making it consistent with the design directive.
Since the client is an avid art collector, it was important that the aesthetic focus be on the art. However, the lighting design plays a key role in making each piece in the collection appear vivid. Not only is the artwork illuminated to museum standards with low-voltage downlights (Halo H1499IC by Cooper Lighting Industries), but the control system maintains the necessary energy-efficiency as required by California’s stringent energy codes. In addition, subtly integrated light sources in the niches, stairs, and millwork are the perfect complement to the clean lines of the art and architecture.
Each wall throughout the residence is separately controlled, allowing for the proper illumination of the art program installed. A combination of LED, fluorescent, and dimmed halogen sources help achieve long intervals in maintenance.
The judicious use of skylights allows natural light to enter into each space in the residence, reducing the need for artificial illumination in the daytime. In evening, lensed warm-white LED sources illuminate the skylights for visual interest with a soft glow.
One of the cleverest lighting installations isn’t easily detected. Since there are different sizes of artwork and many beam spreads needed to precisely highlight each, the lighting designers employed minimal aperture trims in the Halo housings to maintain a consistent architectural look without calling attention to the various aiming angles. Visitors will not be able to notice any unevenness. Meanwhile, tight beam spreads and louvers were used to highlight the furniture and allow the fabrics and finishes to stand out.
To underscore the repetitive nature of the architecture, the lighting design team internally illuminated the niches so that they appear to be marching in rhythm down the corridor, creating a sense of order using light.
This project won Cooper Lighting’s 34th Annual SOURCE Awards in the Professional category for Residential installations. The next roster of award-winners will be released at Lightfair International in May.
Read about Cooper Lighting at 2012 LightFair International: Cooper Lighting & Rambus