Twelve projects, 11 firms, 9 cities. While this data offers basic details about the award-winning projects of the Fifth Annual A|L Light & Architecture Design Awards, it by no means describes their complexity. From a field of 86 projects of the highest caliber work this design awards program has received since its commencement in 2004, these projects represent the diversity, inventiveness, and technical achievement at work in architectural lighting design today. The projects on the next 26 pages seamlessly integrate lighting in both architectural and urban contexts, and celebrate their designer's mastery of skill and imagination.

No matter the project size or budget, all of this year's selections share a common trait—excellence. The understated elegance of Armani's flagship store in Tokyo's high-end Ginza shopping district blends eastern and western traditions through state-of-the-art lighting technologies. The Bloch Building Addition at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Mo., transforms architecture into an otherworldly glowing sculpture and creates a new icon for the city. The relighting of the Alexander Hamilton U.S. Customs House in New York reinvigorates an architectural masterpiece. The sleek and sophisticated lighting of the Creative Artists Agency headquarters in Los Angeles redefines cool and modern. The Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, Calif., is illuminated with technical splendor. The Burlington Danes Imaging Centre in London puts a contemporary spin on building façades. An ethereal quality of light at the School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center in New York surrounds limber dancers. Daylight turns the most unexpected of convention hall spaces, the H. Roe Bartle Hall Ballroom, into a dynamic interior completely rooted to its surroundings, and the Westminster Academy in London also is the beneficiary of a thoughtful daylighting scheme that transforms windowless classrooms into luminous spaces. Finally, colored light creates a new visual vocabulary for a system of subterranean public walkways known as the Underground in Oklahoma City.

Awards were given in all categories with the exception of Residential and Best Lighting Design on a Budget. The jury (see bios, right), an esteemed group of architects and lighting designers with more than 70 years of collective experience among them, did not feel there were any projects that met the mark in these categories. On the other hand, the jury felt that two projects, Guerrilla Lighting and the Times Square Ball, defied category structure and were awarded special citations to acknowledge their specific achievements—public awareness/activism and fixture design and incorporation of lighting technology, respectively. If the 12 award-winning projects of this year's A|L Light & Architecture Design Awards are any indication of what the promise of lighting design holds, then it is a very exciting moment for the lighting profession.


Armani Ginza
Speirs and Major Associates

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Beafro Design Group

Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House
RS Lighting Design

Creative Artists Agency Headquarters
Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall
Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design


Burlington Danes Imaging Centre

H. Roe Bartle Hall Ballroom
Derek Porter Studio

School of American Ballet at Lincoln Center
Tillotson Design Associates


Elliott + Associates Architects


Westminster Academy
BDP Lighting

H. Roe Bartle Hall Ballroom
Derek Porter Studio


Guerrilla Lighting
BDP Lighting

100th Anniversary of the Times Square Ball
Focus Lighting


Laura Briggs
Firm: BriggsKnowles
Architecture+Design, New York
Title: Partner
Bio: BriggsKnowles Architecture+Design is recognized for its use of light and ecological strategies. The firm's work has been published in several venues including The New York Times, Dwell, and Metropolis magazine. As director of the undergraduate architecture BFA AD program at Parsons the New School for Design in New York, Briggs teaches design studio and sustainable seminars, and is part of a joint effort to create interdisciplinary opportunities for students in product design, architecture, interiors, and lighting.

Randy Burkett, FIALD, IESNA, CIE
Firm: Randy Burkett Lighting Design, St. Louis
Title: President and design principal
Bio: A member of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IESNA), and the International Commission on Illumination (CIE), Burkett is active on both technical and design committees concerned with energy, daylighting, office lighting, museums, and metrics of lighting quality. A former president of the IALD, he also has served on its board of directors. His portfolio includes a diverse collection of national and international projects in the areas of retail, museum, commercial, institutional, and site development.

Jean Sundin, IALD, IESNA, PLDA
Firm: Office for Visual Interaction (OVI), New York
Title: Co-founder and principal
Bio: OVI's projects include lighting for the Scottish Parliament, The New York Times Building, and the New York City Streetlight competition. The firm's illumination of the U.S. Air Force Memorial won the 2008 GE Edison Award, IES New York chapter Lumen Award of Merit, and IESNA International Illumination Design Award. Sundin currently is chair of the Professional Lighting Design Association's (PLDA) committee on curriculum fundamentals. She is a co-author of the IALD Specification Integrity Guidelines and is a member of the U.S. Green Building Council.

David Ziolkowski, IALD
Firm: Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum (HOK), St. Louis
Title: Senior associate
Bio: A graduate of the University of Kansas, Ziolkowski received his Bachelor of Science in architectural engineering in 2001. As a member of the lighting group at HOK since 2001, Ziolkowski is responsible for all phases of architectural lighting design. He served as the St. Louis Illuminating Engineering Society of North America chapter president from September 2005 to August 2006. In 2006, he was honored as one of St. Louis' “Top 30 Under 30” professionals by the St. Louis Business Journal.

Katherine Abernathy, IALD, IESNA
Firm: Abernathy Lighting Design, North Providence, R.I.
Title: Principal
Bio: Abernathy's work encompasses both architectural and theatrical lighting design. The firm's project portfolio includes national and international award-winning designs and has focused on museums, entertainment venues, retail, health care facilities, offices, and exterior building lighting. Currently, she serves as director at large on the International Association of Lighting Designer's board of directors and is chair of the Examination Committee for the National Council on Qualification of Lighting Professions. She also is a member of the U.S. Institute for Theatre Technology.