LEDs, OLEDs, and Controls… Oh My! – The Lighting Practice’s Office Renovation

TLP directions office

The Lighting Practice’s Office Renovation

As lighting designers, we design lighting systems for a variety of corporate environments.  Our clients provide us with insight into their corporate culture, budget, and goals. We then develop designs that not only support our clients and their unique needs, but also highlight the aesthetics of their space.  It is a rare treat to have the opportunity to turn the focus back on ourselves.  Lillian Knoerzer, Lighting Designer, worked in collaboration with Al Borden, Principal, and architecture firm, ISA to not only illuminate our recently renovated office, but reconsider how the culture and needs of our team have evolved and grown.

What inspired The Lighting Practice’s office renovation?

  • Our office is perceived as architecturally cutting-edge by our clients and guests, so we wanted to hold on to that aesthetic by staying current and updating our space. We also wanted to lean into the growing trend of more open office space, with plenty of places to meet up with co-workers and get away from your desk.

Was there an overall theme or design aesthetic you were trying to achieve?

  • There is definitely more of an attention to branding in the new space; the TLP orange and gray are more visible and apparent throughout the public areas. ISA did a great job coming up with an angular, geometric aesthetic that introduces some interesting new sightlines and circulation patterns, and also helps to maximize the space. The new office will push people to collaborate more.

The previous office design featured curved architectural details, organic shaped furniture, and translucent materials. The new office design features angular architectural details with bold, solid forms. How did the change in form affect your approach to lighting? Did you feel a need to use lighting to soften, balance, or emphasis the geometric shapes?

  • We were excited to be challenged with the new spatial forms in the office. For the most part, the lighting strategy involved using luminous curvilinear fixtures where possible to offset the angularity of the architecture. We have a few luminaires that are meant to be attention-grabbing, but the supplementary lighting is meant to recede and highlight the office itself.

Did you duplicate any designs from the original system when planning/designing TLP’s new office lighting?

  • The original lighting design helped us to see what does and does not work well. For instance, being at the end of the hallway, we’re lucky to have a strong focal draw from a far distance. With this in mind, we kept the [color-changing] feature wall that prominently displays our logo behind reception.

Did you use one consistent source throughout the office design? Why?

  • All the lighting in the new space is LED. As an office, we feel it’s the only path forward in our industry.

TLP’s three new conference rooms all have floor to ceiling glass panels, large windows and video conferencing capability. What considerations were made when lighting these spaces? What are key considerations when developing a lighting system for technology savvy conference/meeting rooms?

  • All conferencing spaces were designed with the ample daylighting we have available in mind. We specified wall box dimmers in each conference room, which help to tailor light levels for the user’s needs on a given day. When designing lighting for video conferencing rooms, the most important factor is to keep lighting clear of the cameras, which we made sure to do.

Were there any lessons learned from the original office system? Any lessons learned during the renovation?

  • The original office system emphasized the need for more usable white light at reception. The color-changing lighting on the feature wall behind the reception desk cast colors on the desktop that made reading tasks difficult. In the new space, we’re incorporating four large OLED pendants that should help to mix out the light on the desktop to be more neutral and easy to work under.

Was there a product you were dying to use that you were able to incorporate into the design?

  • We’re very excited to be using OLED pendants in our space. OLEDs are a relatively new and thus seldom used technology that will be interesting to test out and show off.

What is your favorite aspect of the new office?

  • My favorite part of the new office is the pod meeting space in the lobby. I love that it’s so open and angular, and it provides a very cool division of space as you first walk into TLP.