For the renovations to its Morristown, N.J., headquarters building, Schindler Elevator Corp. expressed to Ikon.5 Architects that it wanted to highlight its minimal aesthetic and precision engineering. Ikon.5 grabbed this mandate and took the Switzerland-based company’s existing 1970s office structure and gave it a full stylistic makeover and efficiency update, from new, insulated glazing to interior surface treatments and a 21,000-square-foot solar-power array.
Schindler instructed Ikon.5 that it wanted to convey the importance of its engineering heritage and mission statement of safely moving people throughout the world (via their elevators and escalators), while also rethinking its approach to sustainability by having the architects make improvements to the building’s energy consumption. Ikon.5 responded to this challenge with a new envelope for the building that reduces mechanical loads and new lighting solutions that minimize energy use without any loss of natural workplace illumination. An information kiosk in the lobby—lit with ceiling-mounted, custom LED light panels—displays real-time statistics about the building’s energy use, such as an estimated 6.7 percent reduction in electricity consumption and 39.2 percent reduction in consumption of natural gas, all of this thanks to both the low-E windows and the rooftop photovoltaic grid.
Red and white, the colors of the Swiss flag, are repeated throughout the building as solid, unadorned planes interrupted at regular intervals by recessed 28W T5 fluorescent luminaires that create an accent element when walking through the building. And drawing inspiration from contemporary static art installations that give the illusion of motion, designers from Ikon.5 created “mise-en-scène” settings that focus on abstracted single-point perspectives, with long corridors laid out like horizontal versions of the elevator shafts that house Schindler’s vertical transportation and mobility products.
Glass walls allow daylighting to penetrate deep into the building, while minimal detailing and trimless LED fixtures establish a language that speaks in frames of light. Following the same language and rhythm as the recessed fixtures, Ikon.5 deployed linear 28W T5 pendants in the open office areas to provide additional tasklighting, creating a workplace environment that emphasizes Schindler’s chief export: movement through space.
Beautiful attention to detail.
These lines of light re-create the appearance of looking down an elevator shaft.
Project Schindler Elevator Corp.—U.S. Headquarters, Morristown, N.J.
Entrant Ikon.5 Architects
Owner/Client Schindler Elevator Corp.
Architect/Lighting Designer Ikon.5 Architects, Princeton, N.J.
Team Members Joseph G. Tattoni, Ben Petrick, Michael Zereva, Renuska Papalexiou
Photographer James D’Addio
Project Size 161,000 square feet
Project Cost Withheld
Lighting Cost $1 million
Watts per Square Foot 0.90
Code Compliance ASHRAE 90.1-2004
Manufacturers Gammalux, Philips Ledalite, Rosco, Traxon
To see all of the other winners of the 2014 AL Light & Architecture Design Awards, click here.