Archilume’s P1M Lights Up Watt Plaza Lobby Renovation

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Even from beyond the doors, the soft glow of the lighting feature at Watt Plaza Lobby simply cannot be missed. The new lobby design by STUDIOS Architecture called for a massive decorative light display and Canadian lighting studio, Archilume, got the call. The result is a striking constellation of 350 (yes, 350!) individually mounted P1M LED luminaires.

Archilume’s P1M Lights Up Watt Plaza Lobby Renovation
Photograph © Bruce Damonte

The P1M is Archilume’s marquee pendant. It set the stage for what is now the brand’s design ethos – innovating by combining science with beauty. Since its founding in 2013, Archilume has been producing glare-free decorative luminaires that revolutionize the use of innovative lighting technologies – one of the first to use energy-efficient LED chip-on-board technology in a luminaire – and, with the P1M, helped lead the way with the application of total internal reflection optics in decorative LED lighting. Technological lighting advances aside, the sheer brilliance of the P1M lies in its ability to be mounted as a solitary pendant or grouped to form a chandelier. But it wasn’t until the Watt Plaza Lobby and STUDIOS Architecture’s need for a focal lighting feature that the brilliance behind the P1M’s design could truly shine. 

Lighting design specialists Banks Landl Lighting Design (previously Hiram Banks Lighting Design) were brought on board the project. BLLD designed a template system for the overall 15’x19’ 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. This was a critical component to the overall design success of the installation as the pattern needed to be exact and simple enough for the installation to be efficient, but random enough for the overall mass to look unified.

Archilume’s P1M Lights Up Watt Plaza Lobby Renovation
Photograph © Archilume

“Given this component is the focal point of the lobby project, the element needed to maintain a certain, specific mass for it to carry the stature it needed to have an impact. The density and scale of the installation make this lighting feature a success.” – Matthew Landl, Banks Landl Lighting Design.

The P1M is designed to evoke a lit candle, poetically inverted, creating a sense of child-like wonder of where the light might be coming from. Blending minimalism and contemporary styling, its simple form hides the light source emitting pleasant, warm, and elegant light that instantly enhances the space. Its design use is limitless, as exhibited by the Watt Plaza Lobby project. Designers can create any number of compositions of glare-free light with its 1.5” diameter micro canopy making it ideal for large-scale chandelier formations.

Archilume’s P1M Lights Up Watt Plaza Lobby Renovation
Photograph © Bruce Damonte

We’re thrilled to have worked with BLLD and STUDIOS Architecture. Not only did this design project truly tap into our core design philosophy, but the Watt Plaza Lobby lighting installation also showcases the breadth of our product capabilities. We expect designers to explore and create limitless site-specific lighting installations for their projects. It’s like LEGO for light!” – Saleem Khattak, Archilume

First designed in the 1980s by architect Gin Wong, the lobby of the Watt Building is situated between two 23-story towers. Renovated to 17,000 sq ft, STUDIOS Architecture has revealed a stunning, flexible, light-filled space nearly six times the original size. a collaborative environment for Watt Plaza tenants and their guests. Since Watt Plaza was the first LEED Platinum-certified office high-rise building in Century City, California, it was integral to the project to incorporate integrated features to maintain this status. Using Archilume’s P1M low wattage, low output fixtures in a large, focalized quantity, allowed for the surrounding connective spaces to have reduced power consumption, effectively allowing the design to be compliant under the stringent CA Title 24 code, and contributing to the overall LEED goal.

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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