Two shopping centers that feature lighting designed by The Lighting Practice, Philadelphia-based lighting consultants, have been honored by the International Council of Shopping Centers. The centers are NorthEast Mall, Hurst, TX, and Town Center at Boca Raton, FL. Both projects, owned by Simon Property Group, Indianapolis, and designed by the Dallas office of RTKL Associates, Inc., were cited in the International Design and Development Awards Program in the category of Renovation or Expansion of an Existing Project Over 500,000 Sq. Ft.

NorthEast Mall, located close to Fort Worth, changed the image of the 30-year old mall to appeal to a more upscale clientele. A new "garden party" story line was developed that utilizes themes of trees, grass, water, light and soft breezes. "Existing skylights were retained and bathed in blue light, so that the ceiling now creates a gently curving 'perpetual sky,'" Helen K. Diemer, FIALD, vice president of The Lighting Practice, describes.

In the Food Court, glass pendants create the look of party lanterns, and programmable color changers enliven the open truss ceiling above. "The renovation uses long-life lamps and theatrical lighting effects for a dramatic new look produced at a cost-efficient 1.6W per sq. ft.," Diemer points out. At Town Center at Boca Raton, the existing mall was renovated for a more upscale look, consistent with the client base. The mall store area was expanded by a half-million square feet to accommodate 60 new shops and an enlarged food court. A palm tree motif and new water features reflect the regional environment. Simon Property Group retained and enhanced the center's large pyramidal skylights, circular courts, and pitched linear skylight gallery.

Elegant overhead uplight fixtures in the mall's concourses have 60"- wide bowls. They are integrated with the architecture to bring visual interest to ceilings and wall spaces above the storefronts. Suspended over the main court of the expansion area is an assembly of nine custom lighting fixtures. Each is comprised of a pair of flat-brushed aluminum panels approximately 4' wide by 8' long fitted with a suspended fluorescent up-lighting element. "The uplights make the panels shimmer creating a dynamic lighting effect as visitors travel around the space," Diemer said. Along the ceiling line are backlit clerestory openings lit with blue cathode cove lighting to suggest the night sky.

The Lighting Practice serves clients in the U.S. and overseas in the fields of education, healthcare, shopping malls and entertainment centers, corporate offices, hotels and conference centers, and airports and train stations. The firm has won numerous awards for its designs and cost-effective lighting solutions.