JPL Flight Science Building

2010 IES Award of Merit

Architect: LPA, Inc.

Pasadena, CA
192,000 sq.ft

Located in the foothills of Pasadena, California, the JPL headquarters is a LEED Gold certified,192,000 square foot office building. From the outset of the project, sustainability was a driving force and a team decision was made to not use halogen or incandescent fixtures from both an energy and maintenance standpoint. As a result of this teamwork, the project achieved 25% below Title24 energy code requirements. Specific to the lighting design, LEED credit 8 for Light Pollution reduction and an ID credit for use of Low Mercury Content Lamps were awarded.

The lighting design features versatile fixture selection and clarity of design concept. Designed in close collaboration between the lighting designer and the architect, the main exterior signage is down lit with LED from a custom mounting box. Utilizing a combination of integrated LED illuminated handrails and indirect metal halide post fixtures, the entry court is safely and evenly illuminated for pedestrians at night.

In the main lobby, cold cathode cove lighting is mounted above the suspended ceiling planes to achieve a dramatic floating effect. General ambient lighting is provided via recessed metal halides located randomly to evoke a feeling of planets amidst a starry sky. Recessed fluorescent lens wall washers dramatically illuminate the glazed lobby wall.

Designed for flexibility, the auditorium lighting features recessed fluorescent down lights with dimmable ballasts. The curved back wall is illuminated with fluorescent recessed lens wall washers, separately circuited from the down lights, to provide a visual relief for people standing at the front of the auditorium.

To enhance the architecture, the side walls of the auditorium feature light slots illuminated with LEDs. Selected for its long life, color and small size, the same LED product also provides the strip stair lighting for the auditorium. (293 words)

Between the private and open office areas, different fixture styles were selected to provide distinct layers of lighting. Linear pendants are suspended throughout the main open plan office space, and recessed, indirect single biaxial lamp 2×2 fixtures are featured in the private offices. Borrowed natural light from the outdoors filters through the translucent glass partitions to provide a natural light to the central open plan office and supplementing the electric lighting, while also providing visual privacy for the private offices.

Combining the challenges of a deep office floor plan and ceiling height restricted to 9 feet, the slim profile pendants are suspended at 8 feet in the open office area to provide as much visual height as possible. The single T5 indirect / direct linear pendants are both energy efficient and possess excellent lateral light distribution,
Specifically designed to feel different to the open office, the hallway receives no natural daylight and features direct lighting fixtures. Compact fluorescent architectural sconces mark the entry doors to the conference rooms, breaking up the linear journey down the corridor. Sparing use of decorative fixtures throughout the project draws attention to the attractive, simple form of the sconces.

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