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Spotlight on lighting in Las Vegas:
The IALD honors nine international projects for innovative architectural lighting design

Notes from William Weathersby, Jr. Contributing Editor

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Always a highlight of the Lightfair International trade show and conference, the International Association of Lighting Designers Awards this year bestowed honors upon nine architectural projects for outstanding achievement in lighting design. The May 31 ceremony in Las Vegas presented one award of excellence, seven awards of merit, and one special citation as part of the 18th annual program.

New York-based Fisher Marantz Stone received the highest honor, the award of excellence, for its work on the American Museum of Natural History Rose Center for Earth and Space in Manhattan.

The Rose Center houses the recreated Hayden Planetarium now located in an 87-foot-diameter sphere encased in a seven-story clear glass cube. The sphere is lighted from above and below with blue fluorescent lights projecting through a machine-made fog. Louvers minimize glare and are programmed in a rolling sequence that makes the sphere appear to slowly rotate. Red spotlights concealed in the ceiling accent the planets surrounding the sphere. Additional lighting along a 360-degree ramp that takes visitors through an exhibit of the 13-billion-year history of the cosmos adds to the experience. The judges said the lighting plan "takes an idea and makes a success with the solution," adding, "it’s flawless; aesthetically it’s a 10." See the August 2000 issue of Architectural Record Magazine.

The seven Award of Merit winners were:

Alexander Graham Bell House British Telecom Regional Headquarters in Edinburgh Scotland, designed by Jonathan Speirs and Associates of Edinburgh.

Fußgängerbrücke (Pedestrian Bridge) in Innenhafen Duisburg, Nordrhein, Germany, designed by Stuttgart, Germany-based Architekur Licht Bühne.

Herz Jesu Kirche (Heart of Jesus Church), in Munich, Germany, designed by George Sexton Associates of Washington, D.C.

The Millennium Dome in London, designed by London-based Speirs and Major.

Module VII Chiller Plant, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, designed by Cambridge, Mass.-based Lam Partners.

Raleigh-Durham Airport Parking Structure in Raleigh, N.C., designed by Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design of New York.

San Francisco City Hall designed by the San Francisco office of Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design.

An additional special citation for a unique solution to exterior lighting was awarded to Anne Militello of Los Angeles-based Vortex Lighting for The New 42nd Street Studio building in New York City.

Established in 1969, the IALD is an international organization dedicated to the enhancement of the profession of architectural lighting design. Based in Chicago and comprising 675 members, the IALD helps set the global standard for lighting design excellence. More information is available at