Seven Years of Lighting Design Supports Stakeholder Needs in a Major Bay Area Skyscraper Development
Seven years ago, PrichardPeck was a boutique lighting firm with four employees. Therefore when approached by woman-led architecture and design practice Studio Gang to work on a 39 story skyscraper with mixed residential and commercial spaces, the pressure was on. “This was a very big project for us,” confides Kristen Peck, one of the two lead principles at the lighting design firm.
Being such a visible part of the San Francisco skyline, as well as a major new development, meant a lot of stakeholders were involved in all details: developers, general contractors, architects, and interior designers. Each party had specific concerns that needed to be considered, ranging from sustainability, aesthetics, reliability of vendors, and budget.
“Studio Gang is an architectural firm that really believes in sustainability. Their ideas about sustainability for this project, which are commonplace now, were very forward-thinking seven years ago,” explains Kristen. This led to PrichardPeck working to minimize energy use while ensuring the building was dark sky complaint, going as far as developing custom light fixtures to avoid light spill.
Of course, aesthetics played a large role in the lighting firm’s specifications. Instead of a lighting-forward design, PritchardPeck chose to take a more refined approach. "The architecture had a powerful voice already; it's very iconic. We wanted to make sure the lighting supported it, and integrated lighting into the unique details that had been designed into the shelving, cove, and seating areas,” Kristin shares.
She continues, “Instead of using 2700K for a residential project, which is much more traditional, we pushed it to a 3000K so that it would feel crisp and fresh. It was about feeling good during the day with a glass facade and the daylight coming in. The temperature is warm enough that it felt like a home at night, but still had that edge to it to match the architecture."
Faced with the responsibility suggesting lighting products for a project with such a long construction schedule meant choosing reliable vendors was of the upmost importance. “As you know, products evolve a lot. One of our jobs was to pick something that we knew was going to stand the test of time, a company we knew would be around and have enough support that when we needed product years after our specification, we could reply on them. We had worked with Q-Tran before and were confident it’s an established company and wasn’t a risky choice for us. It came down to Q-Tran having the best performance, options and extrusions.”
Finally, Kristen reflected on the last piece of the puzzle that needed to work: pricing. In a project this size, large quantities of LEDs in high volume meant small prices added up and made big impact on budget. "All of the math worked out well, and we didn't even have to VE or substitute it. We knew this is the one that was right for the job, and it worked in all the different spaces."
“MIRA took seven years from the time we signed our contract to the time we did our punch list. I was pregnant when we started, and now my son is in first grade. There was a lot of coordination needed in every step, but by the time we were working on floor ten we figured it out,” Kristen laughs.