Los Angeles has seen its fair share of food trends, from cleanses to cupcakes, from food trucks to fro-yo, but the latest craze—shaved ice—brings with it a refreshing taste and a bright space. Working with just 1,000 square feet and having only 10 percent of the overall $160,000 design budget, Sean O’Connor Lighting created an identity for the Taiwanese company by incorporating the lighting into the architecture, such that the entire space reinforces the frozen treat purveyor’s branding.

Custom-milled architectural panels with ice crystal–shaped cutouts, which are removable for maintenance, allow for illumination from RGB color-changing linear LED fixtures. These panels also conceal the store’s structural supports, HVAC, and wiring for additional systems. Above the serving counter and the seating areas, custom linear-recessed white LED luminaires add a layer of practical ambient light. The store’s high-gloss finishes and their reflective properties amplify all of the lighting effects.

By day, the shop caters to families, but at night it comes alive, thanks to a DMX-programmed system that activates the color-changing linear LEDs and produces a dynamic setting for an adults-only ice bar. It’s a safe bet that Sweet Crush’s shaved ice is one culinary trend that won’t flicker out.

Project: Sweet Crush, Los Angeles •  Entrant: Sean O’Connor Lighting, Beverly Hills, Calif. •  Owner/Clients: Sweet Crush, Los Angeles •  Architect: 64North, Los Angeles •  Lighting Designer: Sean O’Connor Lighting, Beverly Hills, Calif.  Team Member: Sean O’Connor •  Photographer: Wil Carson, 64North, Los Angeles •  Project Size: 1,000 square feet •  Project Cost: $160,000 •  Lighting Cost: $16,000 •  Watts per Square Foot: 0.6W •  Code Compliance: Title 24 •  Manufacturer: Acolyte Jury Comments: Fun. • Impressive what they accomplished on such a small budget. • Nice integration of lighting, texture, color, and material to create a visually compelling space.