A true testament to the process of collaboration, the restoration of the Utah State Capitol—exterior and interior—would not be the success that it is had it not been for the team's dedicated efforts from the project's earliest planning stages. The Beaux Arts–influenced building is home to one of the finest collections of early 20th century architectural lighting. But before the team, including lighting designer Randy Burkett, could embark on the restoration, they had to evaluate the range of historic light fittings and decide how they would both restore original luminaires and upgrade the lighting to meet 21st century standards. To that end, Burkett enlisted Edwin Rambusch of Rambusch Lighting as a design assist consultant so that the lighting restoration work and the recreation of historic fixtures could be properly assessed for scope of work and budget.
The first order of business was to illuminate the exterior. The 300-foot-tall dome is softly, but precisely, lit from the rooftop corners with 400W metal halide floodlights. Additional layers of illumination highlight the lower portion of the dome's drum and portico of Corinthian capitals on the façade.
For the interior, luminaires were recreated using archival photographs as reference and working from the extant decorative castings. The team always gave thought to both the look of the fixture as well as the quality of light emanating from it. To address the vast array of luminaires and variable conditions, eight interchangeable, multilamp reflector assemblies were designed to work with compact fluorescent, ceramic metal halide discharge, and halogen sources. More than 10 years in the making, the restoration of the Utah State Capitol celebrates light across the ages.
Jury Comments: The scope of the project and the project delivery is unique. • There is an extraordinary attention to detail in creating a lighting strategy that is sensitive to the historic architectural context. • A true collaborative effort.