A view of the terminal at midday when the color temperature of the petal fixtures transitions to 4000K to balance the abundance of natural light.
Giulio Calisse A view of the terminal at midday when the color temperature of the petal fixtures transitions to 4000K to balance the abundance of natural light.

Today’s air travel is filled with myriad complexities. From security checkpoints to flight delays, any number of issues can arise as people attempt to get from one place to another. How then to create amenities and accompanying spaces within an airport where travelers can sit and relax, or even grab something good to eat?

One recent example is Page in Terminal A at Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. Lighting designers Renée Joosten and Patricia Vallejo of New York–based ICrave were tasked with creating a welcoming spot inside this 1950s building, which was an addition to the original airport terminal (today’s Terminal B) next door, which first opened in 1941. (The larger Terminal C opened in 1997.) Terminal A features a circular, open-space configuration with gates along the perimeter window wall and a ceiling whose structure recalls the look of an airplane propeller. It was this aspect of the space that inspired the designers to develop the concept for Page: one central dining spot for the entire terminal, radiating seating areas, and a feature lighting element emanating from a central column.

Terminal A before the renovation (left); and after the renovation (right).
ICrave Terminal A before the renovation (left); and after the renovation (right).

The focal point of the space and the lighting design are the 10 white cantilevered “petals.” Inside each one are six custom four-channel linear LED uplights with dynamic-white and amber LEDs. The combination of color temperatures allowed the lighting designers to create a balanced illumination given the abundance of natural light that the round terminal receives throughout the day.


Drawing Details Courtesy ICrave

Each LED array is outfitted with different optics so that a fixture’s beam spread maps to the curvature of the ceiling above, producing an even wash of light and eliminating hotspots. Emanating from the central column, warm 2700K LED light illuminates the existing speaker dome. These fixtures are equipped with custom frosted lenses, baffles, and three-sided barn doors to prevent unwanted spill light or shadowing.


View of the terminal at sunrise.
Giulio Calisse View of the terminal at sunrise.


View of the terminal after sunrise.
Giulio Calisse View of the terminal after sunrise.

The project location—an active airport—proved a particular challenge. Joosten notes that they were only allowed to be on site for mock-ups, installation, and fixture focusing, between the overnight hours of 10:00 p.m. and 4:00 a.m. This made the process of developing and fine-tuning the programming for the petals’ color-changing sequence, which is set to an astronomical clock, complex to say the least. The program starts one hour before astronomical sunrise, set to 2200K with saturated amber tones. As morning unfolds, the color temperature transitions to 4000K to balance the abundance of noontime light during the lunchtime rush. During sunset and nighttime hours, the crisp white light fades back to warmer color temperatures for a more calming feel. The result is a technically complex lighting solution that creates a sophisticated and inviting design feature while elevating the overall travel experience. •

View of the terminal at sunset.
Giulio Calisse View of the terminal at sunset.


View of the terminal during late evening hours.
Giulio Calisse View of the terminal during late evening hours.


Detail of the petal armature.
Giulio Calisse Detail of the petal armature.

Details
Project: Page, Terminal A, Reagan National Airport, Washington, D.C. • Client: OTG, New York • Architect: Alliiance, Minneapolis • Lighting Designer: ICrave, New York • Fabricator: Eventscape, Toronto • Project Size: 1,536 square feet • Project and Lighting Costs: Not Available • Code Compliance: ASHRAE 90.1-2007 • Watts per Square Foot: 1.6W

Manufacturer
Philips Color Kinetics: Custom four-channel linear LED uplights in the petals and custom 2700K eW Blast Powercore fixtures at core