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Parsons School of Design MFA Lighting Design program theses2009 (PC020404.08) ➔ Restoring Unity of Luminous Skyscrapers


Related people/organizations

Kate Nelson (designer)
Kimberly Ackert (thesis advisor)
Derek Porter (thesis advisor)
Nathalie Rozot (thesis advisor)
Peter M. Wheelwright (thesis advisor)
Alexa Griffith Winton (thesis advisor)




The exterior electrical lighting integration for a skyscraper primarily illuminates its upper section; therefore, bestowing identity on the macro scale. However, the main focus of this thesis is a study on the extreme disconnection between the iconic tops and the micro scale’s pedestrian level of Midtown skyscrapers. The business district of Park Avenue is comprised of numerous iconic architectural office towers that date back to the 1950s & 1960s whose mid-sections are illuminated and emphasized through interior electrical lighting seen through the large scale glass facades as observed from the exterior pedestrian level. This unbalanced illumination further accentuates the utmost disconnection between the near, middle, and far fields of the towers. I will set precedence for these high-rises by means of current energy-efficient illumination technology within my site, the JPMorgan Tower located at 270 Park Avenue, a non-iconic, non-distinguishable skyscraper that towers above other surrounding homogeneous transparent structures. By incorporating a new lighting strategy that illuminates the building’s neglected midzone through integrating luminaires, visual continuity between the interior and exterior as well as from floor to floor will be achieved and current environmental lighting design’s demand for conserving energy will be accomplished.



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