2023 | Professional

MUSE Design Awards Silver Winner

Gershwin Theater Facade Lighting

Entrant Company

Design One Lighting Design

Category

Lighting Design - Facade Lighting

Client's Name

MdeAS Architects

Country / Region

United States

Making a building stand out in Times Square with lighting sounds about as possible as defying gravity. But on the facade of the Gershwin Theatre, Christien Methot’s lighting firm Design One Lighting Design worked wonders illuminating the face of the famous Broadway house, home to Wicked for nearly 20 years.

The Gershwin is unusual among other Broadway houses, built to nest inside the redeveloped early-70s era Paramount Plaza skyscraper as opposed to being a standalone building with its own facade. As a result, the lobby is tucked away underneath the parking garage entrance, the facade shared with the building above.

The facade’s redesign gives the Gershwin its own identity while echoing the look of the Paramount Plaza above, a grid divided into cells. The lighting is the true star of the array, emphasizing the rows of discontinuous segments while pulling together the grid as a whole.

A horizon line effect was chosen over illuminating the whole surface of each cell to give more contrast to the installation, and as space for backlighting was extremely limited. Due to the extremely constrained dimensions, Martin Exterior Linear Graze fixtures were chosen specifically for their small profile and powerful output. While normally a cool white, the fixtures can change and mix color for special occasions—Elphaba’s green of course—and were designed to be capable of cell-by-cell programming should it be needed.

The Gershwin facade redesign is an example of standing out through simplicity and cohesiveness, a special lighting installation for a magical place.

Credits

StructureTone
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