Everything is Illuminated

New York architect Thomas Phifer blends his buildings with the nature around them and has a profound sensitivity to light.

For the City Lights competition, Phifer's team devised a sleek, cast-aluminum arm fixed atop an extruded aluminum pole, marrying function and aesthetics.

As opposed to a single lamp located at the end of the arm, a linear array of LED lamps will provide greater light coverage on the street.

A photovoltaic option for the streetlight would minimize energy consumption as the technology improves.

The proposed system maximizes the efficiency of the limited surface area of the photovoltaic cells by using two light scoops.

The fixture's cast-aluminum luminaire housing functions as a heat sink, protecting the acrylic optical lens from extreme temperatures.

The luminaire base slips snugly into the top of the extruded aluminum pole and is secured with stainless steel setscrews.

The base of the streetlight has an asymmetrical design to allow for ergonomic, efficient installation and wiring. Durability is another goal: All parts are high-pressure case aluminum with a painted finish. Bolts and wiring are enclosed by an access door with a sloping top surface for water runoff.

The museum's matrix of skylights, expressed on the roof as an undulating surface, brings an awareness of nature into the galleries through highly engineered, glass-enclosed oculi.

New galleries will be contained in a single, 26-foot-tall story, wrapped in a warmtoned, satin-finish stainless steel that softly reflects the landscape.

This bird's-eye view of the entire museum campus shows the simplicity of the form and how the landscape penetrates the building with fingerlike projections.

Working in Rhino software, the design team studied dozens of forms to refine the roof panels (below right, top row), coffers (middle row), and end panels (bottom row).

Studies of the glass façade during daylight hours.

Studies of the glass façade during dusk helped predict the variations in light reflectivity caused by the building form, its cladding, and the interior shading system.

The house will be anchored in the hillside like a faceted crystal, with sliding steel-rod screens inside to control privacy and views.

Living spaces are on the third floor, where the open plan and low-profile kitchen cabinets will allow sweeping views.

Glass panels will obscure the spandrels, giving the appearance of a thin roof. In fact, the roof will accommodate 6 inches of soil planted with drought-resistant sedum.

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