“Outreach to communities near and far,” was the concept for the expansion and renovation of the Cincinnati Convention Center, which overlooks the nearby Ohio River. Using a “sculptural” super-graphic, the project succeeds in doing just that. A series of 10-foot-square white metal panels canted at an approximate 45-degree angle supported by an architectural superstructure on the building's exterior (right), form the word “Cincinnati.” The panels are illuminated by 150W T6 metal halide lamps integrated into the architectural support structure, and the result is a new visual “interactive urban icon” for the city of Cincinnati (see image gallery).

The convention center's expansion takes the form of a glass circulation spine running the length of the building. It also acts as the physical link between exterior and interior, as the dynamic exterior lighting element is carried into the convention center's public interiors. A multi-colored super-graphic of square blocks painted on the ceiling and ceiling soffit of the circulation spine (see image gallery) echoes the exterior superstructure housing the Cincinnati sign. The same 150W T6 metal halide lamps are used to illuminate this feature.

As the circulation spine turns the corner of the building, the colorful interior graphics, all in cool tones, continue in an abstracted homage to the Ohio River and are lit with a combination of T8 fluorescent cove fixtures and 150W T6 metal halide washlights. The ceiling is highlighted by 150W T6 metal halide uplights. One of the challenges for the lighting design team was the “consistency of effect and source color match” because “the architectural conditions varied causing 10- to 40-foot setbacks.” Simple yet effective, the billboard-like quality of this three-dimensional illuminated façade creates an entirely new feature for the Cincinnati skyline. A|L

jury comments

Lighting as a “super-graphic” – it create a singular, recognizable identity for the project. | Lighting carries the load for this project and brings together the aesthetically divergent interior venues.


Project Location: Cincinnati Architect: LMN Architects, Seattle Lighting Designer: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design (Los Angeles office), Culver City, California Associate Architect: Cincinnati Architects Collaborative, Cincinnati Graphics and Interior Design: Sussman/Prejza & Company, Culver City, California Photographers: Wolf Photographic Arts, Cincinnati Project Size: 200,000 square feet (expansion); 530,000 (renovation) Watts Per Square Foot: 1.2 Project Cost: $135 million Lighting Installation Cost: $8/square foot Manufacturers: Day Brite, Elliptipar, Indy Lighting, Insight Lighting, Kim Lighting, Leucos, Lutron, Prescolite, Prudential, Shaper Lighting, Tokistar