OVERTURE CENTER FOR THE ARTS, submitted by Cline Bettridge Bernstein

»The cesar pelli-designed expansion of madison, wisconsin's overture center for the Arts relies on lighting to knit together a diverse array of existing structures and new spaces. Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design (CBBLD) visually links the spaces by replicating variations of the fixture design, white light quality, and colored light programming.

In Overture's three-floor rotunda, the center's signature entrance and its nodal hub, the experience of theater-going takes shape. CBBLD devised a four-tier arrangement of low-voltage, color-changing LED striplights tucked within parapet coves to accentuate the rotunda's cylindrical dimension. The colored lighting visually resembles the cove-embedded triphosphor ribbon of neon light encircling the rotunda staircase adjacent to the space. A DMX system and iPlayer 2 power the rotunda's dimmer-controlled LEDs, playing two-hour-long color sequences that display an array of vertical cross-fades appropriate for an evening's specific program. The color scheme was devised to accentuate the architecture and signify—through a subtly shifting palette—the progression from pre-performance to intermission to post-performance.

The north-facing lobby of the new addition proved most challenging. This space—drenched in natural light during the day, sparkling on the streetscape at night —prepares visitors to transition into the concert hall. To warm the minimalist interior, CBBLD created soft pools of light generated by PAR56 accent recessed downlights. The lighting firm also designed a custom pendant comprised of five layers of overlapping white glass, each shaped like a billowing ribbon, and positioned in an alternating horizontal and vertical pattern. The fixture creates a playful sparkle that contrasts with the lobby's austere rectilinear dimensions.

Once inside the 2,253-seat acoustical chamber, visitors encounter a cornucopia of curves, most notable in the parapets that enclose the balconies, and in the undulating ceiling panels. In addition to the dimmer-controlled PAR56 accent fixtures and crystal-trimmed downlights (customized to maintain acoustical integrity) that provide general lighting, the hall glows with the help of low-voltage tube lights tucked inside the parapet coves. Fiber optic lighting—powered by fanless illuminators to eliminate noise and programmed to mirror the rotunda's lighting scenes—accentuates the ceiling and brings a subtle and continuous variation to the experience. As the rotunda's sequence plays out, so too does the fiber optic color scheme in the concert hall, in unison with the rotunda, creating a visual link between activity in the hall and life within the complex.

Jury Comments
The project does seem to have three very episodic aspects: the entry way with the dome is one kind of idea about light; the main space is another; and the auditorium is a third.

architect Cesar Pelli & Associates, New Haven, CT
architect of record Potter Lawson & Flad, Madison, WI
lighting designer Cline Bettridge Bernstein, New York
photographer Jeff Goldberg/Esto, Zane Williams
total square footage 280,000 (phase one)

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JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER, submitted by Cline Bettridge Bernstein

»Jazz performance has a new home. Housed within the time warner building at Columbus Circle, Jazz at Lincoln Center provides three performance venues as diverse as the music itself. From the intimate setting of Dizzy's Club, to the experimental Allen Room, to the grandeur of Rose Hall, each space provides a different experience. One firm lending continuity to these distinct pieces is Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design (CBBLD), whose careful sensibility toward lighting helped unify the space.

Rafael Viñoly, the architect behind the design, envisioned each performance space as a building on a public square, with its 'façade' defined by a different colored wall. CBBLD designer Michael Hennes explains: 'Color is used as an important space-defining element. The brightly colored walls organize the space vertically—those walls are washed with light. The open spaces use downlights with a wider beam.'

The cozy atmosphere of Dizzy's Club is achieved with lighting details like perimeter ceiling soffits accented with recessed A-lamp downlights, a surface-mounted low-voltage covelight that illuminates the drink rail, and battery-operated table lamps that mimic candlelight. The center ceiling houses halogen PAR56 lensed wallwashers.

The main objective for the Rose Theater, which can be reconfigured into a theater-in-the-round, was to provide theatrical light around the rim of the hall. This was achieved by illuminating the front of the wood balconies, and through an interactive series of 5-foot-square LED illuminated boxes referred to as 'diamonds,' which are programmed to change color with a DMX theatrical control system.

The double-skin curtain wall of the Allen Room allows spectacular views of Columbus Circle, but required careful control of the lighting to minimize reflection from the glass, and spill light into and from the retail space below. Architectural and theatrical lighting is hidden above a ceiling comprised of thin vertical gold rails. To create a shimmer effect, the quartz halogen houselights focus on the rails.

Lastly, a small exhibit space designed by the Rockwell Group required an even illuminance level on the floor without light spilling onto the interactive wall displays, which include flat-panel monitors. The main architectural feature is an undulating wood-veneer ceiling with monopoint-mounted MR16 lamps inserted between the curved wood beams, providing a splash of accent light. At each end of the space, translucent light box displays with colored insert panels identifying jazz icons are backlit with dimmable fluorescent lamps.

Jury Comments
The lighting makes all the difference in these spaces, transforming the experience for both performers and audience. • The city view backdrop in the Allen Room is amazing.

architect Rafael Vi?oly Architects, New York
lighting designer Cline Bettridge Bernstein, New York
photographer Brad Feinknopf/Feinknopf Photography
total square footage 140,000

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