The New York-based lighting design firm Fisher Marantz Renfro Stone (FMRS) was the headliner of the 15th annual IALD Lighting Design Awards, presented May 28 to coincide with the Lightfair trade show and conference in Las Vegas. The FMRS team garnered the single Award of Excellence for its work at the Miho Museum in Shigaraki, Japan, and picked up one of four Awards of Merit for the Byzantine Fresco Chapel in Houston. Sponsored by the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and Architectural Lighting magazine, the award program recognizes achievements in architectural lighting design. Four of the five winners this year were projects built outside the US.

The Miho Museum, designed by architect I.M. Pei with interiors by Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), is set mostly underground within a landscaped conservation area. The museum is entered via an 800'-long (244m) tunnel, which at night is lit with a combination of warm-toned, high-CRI lamp sources. An approach bridge is uplit with high-CRI metal-halides. Public spaces throughout the museum are saturated with natural light, while a recessed track system and fiber optics further illuminate the galleries. "The lighting lends itself to a wonderful sense of transition from one room to another, each one providing some new expectation," remarked one IALD judge. The FMRS designers on the project were Paul Marantz, FIALD; Alicia Kapheim; and Hank Forest.

Designed by Marantz and colleague Barry Citrin, the lighting of the Byzantine Chapel received an Award of Merit for its dramatic enhancement of a sacred space. The chapel, designed by architect Francois de Menil, is located within the de Menil Foundation Museum, which was granted permission to display a pair of original Byzantine frescoes only if they were exhibited on consecrated ground. The challenge was to evoke a spiritual, luminous quality for the chapel and centuries-old frescoes, while providing adequate lighting for various functions. Using adjustable MR-16 fixtures with varying spread lenses and floor-recessed 3000K fluorescent striplights, the designers created a play of shadow and light that enhances appreciation of the art while aiding contemplation. Evenly illuminated glass panels outlining the shell of the chapel are set against the dark backdrops of floor and ceiling. "It must have been very challenging to make the sources of light so invisible while illuminating the glass so continuously," commented an IALD judge.

A second outstanding project in Japan, the Yamaguchi International Trade and Cultural Center, received an Award of Merit for Tokyo-based lighting designer Motoko Ishii. Covered with reflective glass, the 492' (150m) tower is illuminated with color-changing halogen lamps with dichroic filters. A sphere atop the tower brightens and dims with points of white light created by electrodeless lamps. The architect of the building is NTT Power and Building Facilities.

Another Merit Award-winner in Asia was the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibit Centre, with lighting by Paul Helms, IALD, and Christopher Bowsher, both of PHA Lighting Design in Atlanta. The entire building, designed by SOM, becomes animated with illumination at night via 100W metal-halide downlights, 1,000W PAR-64 quartz adjustable fixtures, 100W PAR-38 metal-halides, and custom fluorescent uplighting. "The lighting of the interior makes the whole building glow," the judges said.

LDs Nick Hoggett, IALD, and Richard Bolt of DPA Lighting Consultants in Deddington, Oxon, UK, merited recognition for the design of another sacred space, the Gilbert Scott Chapel at the Charterhouse School. New lighting for the 1927 chapel in Surrey encompasses tungsten halogen luminaires, low-voltage spots and uplights, and a linear xenon system. "This is a very difficult space to light successfully, because you have to be respectful of the architecture," the judges noted. "The controllability of the system allows the light to be blended, and creates a refreshing, three-dimensional space that tells a story."

For the third year, the IALD also presented a $1,500 scholarship to a design student pursuing a career related to architectural lighting. The 1998 IALD scholarship was awarded to Julie Reeves, a graduating student at Texas Christian University. Reeves previously worked as an intern for Lighting Design Alliance in Long Beach, CA, a firm she now will join full-time. Kyllene Jones, an undergraduate in architectural engineering at the University of Kansas, received a $1,000 scholarship, a new award underwritten by Architectural Lighting, to continue her lighting education. Lindsay Stephans, a graduate student in architectural lighting at Parsons School of Design, received a $500 grant to fund a lighting installation she proposed.

A special IALD membership development award was presented to David Bird, IALD, of Vision Design Studios in Melbourne, Australia. The IALD also paid tribute to three lighting pioneers who passed away this past year: Norbert Belfer, Abe Feder, and Edison Price.

For more information about the IALD and next year's awards program, call 312/527-3677, fax 312/527-3680, e-mail iald@iald.org, or check out its website at www.iald.org.