First International Finance Center
Client: Starwood Capital, Vornado, The Chatterjee Group (TCG), Urban Infrastructure Real Estate Fund
Architect: Kohn Pedersen Fox (KPF) Associates
Lighting Consultant: AWA Lighting Designers
Local Team: Somaya & Kalappa Consultants Pvt. Ltd., Gherzi Eastern
Photo Credits: AWA Lighting Designers
AWA Points of innovation:
1. Creating a custom detail into the buildings 100m long façade’s glass mullion system to create appearance of continuous line of light, terminated by “End Caps” that are lit.
2. Locating high-power uplights to precisely graze the fins on the north and south facades with light.
3. Creating an apron of light to uplight the vertical trellis on the south façade that highlights the trellis without impacting the visual comfort of the people in the building.
4. Highlighting the vertical surfaces of the lobby in a way to reduce the need for downlights and to accentuate the visual connection between the east and west entrances.
5. Recessing LED downlights within a slot to graze the lobby feature walls in order to highlight the depth and texture of the wall.
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AWA Lighting Design Narrative:
After several discussions with the architect, the lighting concept arose from wanting to highlight the architectural elements and materiality of the project. By lighting these slots we were able to highlight the verticality of the building at night. The building’s “iconic” element on the West Façade is a “floating glass tube” that projects 8m from the building’s facade. We worked with the architect to integrate linear LED lighting into the horizontal mullions in the tubes mullion structure. The result of this integrated lighting detail is that the tube maintains its clean architectural appearance at during the day and then comes alive from within at night with light. The lighting heightens the sense of the “tube” floating over the building’s entrance. The lighting on the East Façade highlights the full height vertical trellis that acts as a shading structure for the glazing interior façade behind. Mockups were generated to study the trellis structure for the optimum lighting solution. We studied the lighting design options taking into account glare for both ground floor visitors looking up at structure, and workers within the building looking down at the beautiful landscape. The final design solution was to uplight the trellis from the base. Both the East and West Facades had vertical reveals which went from ground level to roof. We highlighted these architectural gestures with high power lighting downlights at the top and uplights at the bottom of each slot.
The North and South facades were conceptualized as the bookends for the building. These facades have glass fins with a metal interstitial layer that are placed at the intersection of the façade cladding members. We studied how to light the fins to create the designed effect. The final design uses focused high power very narrow beam in-ground uplight fixtures that have been located precisely on the ground floor level.
The site lighting design intent site was to keep all lighting at the pedestrian level. No tall poles or street lighting fixtures. This allowed for all lighting to interact with the visitors at their “level” while not blocking the view of any part of the building and its surroundings. We integrated lighting into benches and planter walls around the site. To mark the important vehicular entrances we integrated lighting into vertical slots in the 4m tall pylons that flank the entrances. This created safe and secure lighting for the entrance while also bringing attention to the architectural Pylons.
The lighting intent for the building’s lobby was to highlight the architectural elements of the lobby while maintaining the visual connection between East and West landscapes. To accentuate this visual connection, the lighting solution for the space focused on two elements, the side feature walls and the elevator cores in the center of the lobby. To light the feature walls we worked with the architect to create a continuous slot above the feature walls. Within this custom profile slot, we located on center LED downlights to graze the feature walls. The grazing light highlights the depth and pattern of the textured feature walls. The center of the lobby is penetrated by three large elevator cores. They appear to be monolithic stone columns that puncture the lobby from floor to ceiling. We used lighting to accentuate the monolithic feel for these cores at night. We located lighting within a slot in the floor that wrapped around the perimeter of the core at the ground level. We also located lighting within a slot in the ceiling that wrapped around the perimeter of the core at the 1st floor level. By providing this lighting solution for the lobbies double height space and mezzanine walkway, the lighting accentuated the architectural intent of weightlessness for the pedestrian bridge crossing the lobby at the mezzanine level.
view from across BKC Road – First International Finance Center (on left)
looking at southeast corner of facade from across service road
looking up at southeast corner of building facade
looking at vehicular entrance from across service road
main lobby feature wall