The eight projects that won the Third Annual A|L Light & Architecture Design Awards made an impression on this year's jury. The premiated schemes also made an impression on the editorial staff: three of the projects (White Noise|White Light, Higgins Hall, and Hotel Puerta America) have already graced the pages of previous issues of A|L.
While diverse in their typologies, budgets, and character, these projects clearly exhibit one common attribute: the work is expertly executed. The restraint and thoughtful placement and selection of sources for the Detroit Athletic Club's exterior set a new standard for future fa?ade lighting applications. The lighting solutions for the Hotel Puerta America, the Carlton Hotel lobby, and Morimoto NYC respond to and successfully celebrate a rich and diverse material palette. The installation White Noise|White Light dares to think beyond convention as it marries art, technology, light, sound, and site to create a unique interactive experience. Its staying power is proved: transported and installed on M.I.T's campus after its initial construction in Athens, it still successfully communicates its intent. FLEXsystems (a self-storage facility) and the Briarcliff residence (a basement renovation) challenge assumptions about the importance of design no matter the project type. With an economy of means and luminaire selection, both projects demonstrate a lot can be accomplished with very little. Finally, Higgins Hall's central wing unites architecture and lighting in a manner that cohesively smooths the transition between existing and new, representing a thought process in which an understanding of light is integral to the architectural design concept.
Indeed, critical to the success of each of the winning projects is the way in which its lighting scheme integrates itself within the architectural whole. If the lighting elements were removed, the architecture would be fundamentally incomplete. In celebrating these examples, A|L hopes to reinforce the significant role lighting plays in an architectural discourse.