The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) recognized 13 outstanding projects at an awards ceremony held May 12, amidst the Lightfair trade show in San Francisco. The 16th Lighting Design Awards competition, co-sponsored by Architectural Lighting magazine, received entries for 134 eligible projects worldwide this year, double the number of submissions from 1998.

All told, the IALD has honored 35 LDs with its Award of Excellence for designs that combine high-quality aesthetics with technical expertise. Nine designers at five firms (including two architects) won the top award this year from a panel that included luminaries from the lighting and architectural fields.

Douglas Brennan and Andre Tammes, IALD, of the UK firm Lighting Design Partnership, were lauded for their work on the Erasmus Bridge in Rotterdam, in which lighting defines the pylon, suspension cables, and deck of the modernist structure. Bega Lighting is the credited lighting manufacturer of the bridge, which judges praised for its innovative use of fluorescents and overall cohesiveness.

The three other Awards of Excellence went to projects based in Asia. J.K. Yao, IALD, of Taiwan-based chroma33 Architectural Lighting Design Inc., won for his work on the China United Trust & Investment Co. (Chung Lien Bank) building in Taipei. Described as "amazingly poetic in its use of space" by the judges, the bank has minimalist interiors bathed in even washes of light that change from blue to green to gold. Dimmers control the bank's neon lighting and produce gradual color shifts during the day. Manufacturers include Lutron, RayNeon, Noah Lighting, B-Light, and Xeno Flex.

"Wow!" cried the judges about the Sagawa Art Museum in Shiga, Japan, "the only unanimous winner for the Award of Excellence." EPK Corp. LD Takeshi Konishi and Takenaka Corp. architects Ei Kawakita and Shinsuke Utsumi all won awards for a project that uses indirect illumination to lend a touch of the fantastic to the exterior and simulate a daylight look, similar to a traditional Japanese house, for the artwork inside. The lighting manufacturer is Yamagiwa Co. Ltd.

Lighting Dimensions profiled the fourth Award of Excellence winner, the Hong Kong International Airport, in its May 1999 issue ("Raising the roof," page 70). LDs Charles G. Stone II, Scott Hershman, and Enrique Garcia, of New York-based Fisher Marantz Stone (FMS), received plaudits for a project that is "remarkably consistent inside and out" and "probably, technically, the most perfect," according to the judges. Lighting manufacturers are Thorn Lighting, SPI Lighting, and Design Architectural Lighting.

Stone, Alicia Kapheim, and Hank Forrest took home an Award of Merit for FMS for their work illuminating the 2,750-seat Symphony Hall at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, NJ. "You just want to stand up, clap, and cheer 'Bravo!' " said judges, impressed by a treatment that enhances a richly designed space. Credited manufacturers are Creative Light Source, Edison Price Lighting, ETC, Lighting Services Inc., Lightolier, and Lutron, with a custom chandelier by James Carpenter.

The five other Award of Merit winning projects hit other points across the United States. Robert Shook, IALD, LC; James Baney, LC; and Emily Klingensmith of Chicago-based Schuler & Shook were acclaimed for illuminating Alexander Calder's Flamingo, never previously lit. The famed sculpture stands in the city's Federal Plaza and was the first artwork commissioned through the General Service Administration's "Art in Architecture" program 25 years ago. "The graceful and beautiful pattern of the form comes alive," raved the judges, with the assistance of products from Greenlee Lighting and GE Lighting.

Francesca Bettridge, IALD, and Daniel Rogers of New York-based Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design Inc. had fish stories to tell with their lighting of the Estuarine Habitats & Coastal Fisheries Center in Lafayette, LA, and told them in ways that struck the judges as "simply elegant and seductive." The illumination is composed to play off the dominant design elements of water and glass. Equipment came from numerous sources, including Bega, Edison Price, Elliptipar, H.E. Williams, Lighting Services Inc., Lumec, Lumiere Design & Manufacturing, Neoray, Pauluhn, Rambusch Lighting, Visa Lighting, and Zumtobel Staff Lighting.

There was no business like show business for Seattle, WA-based Ross De Alessi Lighting Design, acclaimed for the MGM Grand Gateway of Entertainment, the 170'-diameter (52m) domed entry to the Las Vegas hotel and casino. Wizard of Oz characters having been sent down a yellow brick road, the Gateway now features the soft, warm light, glowing edifices, and spectacle of a 1930s movie palace. Judges praised De Alessi, IALD, LC; Trish Connor, and Andrew Pultorak, LC, for studding the space with "something worth viewing, everywhere one looks, which is often atypical of casinos." Equipment was provided by GE, Greenlee, High End Systems (which won the product innovation award for entertainment/architectural luminaires, for the Studio Spot(TM) 250 and Studio Color(TM) 250, at Lightfair), Hydrel, Lumiere Design & Manufacturing, Northstar, Roberts, Skytracker, Strand Lighting, and Yesco.

Two museum projects were also judged meritorious. Judges lauded Chou Lien, IALD; Richard Dorfman, and Jung Soo Kim of New York-based H.M. Brandston & Partners Inc. for meeting the "incredibly challenging" task of lighting the Hall of Bio-Diversity at the American Museum of Natural History. Their illumination, with equipment supplied by Altman Stage Lighting, Edison Price, Elliptipar, Lighting Services Inc., and Specialty Lighting Inc., successfully balances 2D and 3D presentations and their surroundings.

A project by Craig Roeder, IALD, who was memorialized at the ceremony, won an Award of Merit. He and George Balle of Dallas-based Roeder Design were acclaimed for infusing an existing 12,000-sq.-ft. (1,080 sq. m) exhibit space, the Margaret and Trammell Crow Collection of Asian Art in Dallas, with drama and artistry. Artwork within jade cabinets is lit with low-heat, low-UV, or cool key light depending on the sensitivity of the object, with focused light on individual displays within the mezzanine space; 550 artworks are illuminated overall. Manufacturers are Edison Price, Litelab, Lucifer Lighting, Lutron, RSLI, and Shaper Lighting.

Three projects received special citations this year, two of them won by Jonathan Speirs & Associates in Edinburgh, Scotland. The Tower of Time, an abstract clock that tells time not with numbers but with light, with changing color patterns playing across an eight-story plant tower in Manchester, UK, won plaudits for Speirs, IALD, Gavin Fraser, and Alan Mitchell; equipment suppliers are ETC Irideon, Magnum Cold Cathode, and Strand.

Speirs, Mitchell, Iain Ruxton, and James Mason were also credited by judges for turning central Edinburgh's ugly duckling, the Scottish Power Electric Substation, into a swan via "surreal" saturation of colored light onto its painted surfaces; color-changing units illuminate the main transformers while metal-halide fixtures fitted with dichroic glass articulate the station's sculptural forms (the citation is "For Transformation of Structure into Sculpture Through Lighting"). ETC Irideon and Thorn are the manufacturers.

For sensitive historic restoration, Larry French, IALD, LC, of San Francisco-based Auerbach + Glasow, was cited for the main chandelier and audience chamber of the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House, which opened in 1932 but had never had a significant upgrade of its architectural lighting until recently. Both required extensive research into city archives to locate the original design drawings and zonal cavity calculations. Thorough cleaning of the chandelier and other fixtures and lamp replacement with a vital uplight component in the chandelier, plus halogen A-lamps and incandescents in the audience chamber, bring the illumination level up to snuff for the 90s, and also for the IALD, which held its presentation and dinner ceremony at the Opera House. Insight Lighting is the lighting manufacturer.

For more information on the IALD Lighting Design Awards, call the IALD (which is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year) at 312/527-3677 or visit its website, at Lighting Dimensions will feature a full report from Lightfair in its September issue.