More than 100 pendants adorn Overture's lobby, and aptly symbolize the commitment of the project's client to realize every detail with the best solution.

Working closely with architect Cesar Pelli and CBBLD principal Francesca Bettridge, in an effort that lasted nearly two years, the client pushed the designers to produce an engaging lighting system. Following Pelli's dictate that forbid attaching fixtures to the glass curtain wall and stone-clad interior columns, Bettridge devised a network of sconce-size ceiling-suspended, low-voltage pendants, a fixture comprised of five layers of overlapping glass that she describes as interior jewelry.

Bettridge explained her design to Pelli's team and the client by showing pictures of actual fixtures alongside sketches and computer models of her preliminary ideas. She found specific inspiration in a clear and frosted glass sculpture by Louis Poulsen titled 'PH/Septima' (circa 1927), a spherical object that led to the creation of his metal artichokes.

The design was refined with the help of Winona Lighting as the cardboard models were transformed into working mock-ups, ultimately arriving at the final design, which is illuminated by six 25W white G lamps. After the client approved the pendant design, Bettridge turned her attention to finding-with Winona's assistance-an iron-free glass that would produce the white light her client desired. Only after much searching did Bettridge discover Spectrum Glass, which then worked under her direction with Canadian glass fabricator MonX. Together they carefully molded the customized glass into the billowing ribbons that Bettridge designed, and Winona manufactured, as an alternating horizontal and vertical pattern that Bettridge found produced the best sparkle possible.

What emerges from this effort is a pendant eliciting a playfulness and an elegance that contrasts and complements the lobby's formal and austere design, and visually unifies this multi-purpose complex arts center into a single civic structure. joseph dennis kelly ii