Archilume and Banks Landl Lighting Design Create a Sparkling Cove of Light for L.A.’s Watt Plaza Lobby

Archilume and Banks Landl Lighting Design Create a Sparkling Cove of Light for L.A.’s Watt Plaza Lobby

Watt Plaza is a project that deserves an impressive entrance. The 900,000-square-foot builidng complex in Century City is comprised of two 23-story towers joined by a spacious entrance, which, in turn, is flanked by palm trees and fountains.

Archilume P1M pendant exterior of Watt Plaza

When STUDIOS Architecture signed on to renovate the lobby, they looked to Archilume to create the entrance’s calling card, a massive display of 350 individually mounted P1M pendants.

Archilume P1M pendant detail of pendants

Lovely luminaires, like illuminated raindrops

The challenge was not only to make the experience of entering inviting and enchanting, but also to establish a precedent for sustainability. The building is the first LEED Platinum-certified office high-rise in Century City. It was imperative to maintain this status by incorporating energy-saving fixtures.

Archilume P1M pendant lobby exterior

Exterior of the Watt Plaza lobby, framed by twin palms for an enticing composition. The warm glow of the featured lighting display beckons.

Archilume’s P1M was chosen for its versatility. Designed by Principal Saleem Khattak, P1M is the company’s marquee pendant. One of the first to use energy-efficient LED chip-on-board technology, it offers glare-free lighting via total internal reflection optics. This is engineering speak for a decorative pendant whose lightsource remains mysteriously unseen, giving the effect of an inverted candle that produces a 1.5″ micro canopy of illumination, “emitting pleasant, warm, and elegant light that offers a sense of child-like wonder.”

Archilume P1M pendant single pendant

Archilume’s P1M LED pendant. The illumination is a reflection as the actual lightsource remains unseen.

The other advantage is that P1M is entirely self-contained. The pendant can be used as a single solitary source or in clustered groupings. To complete the 15′ x 19′ cove installation, Banks Landl Lighting Design (BLLD) projected the mounting template from the floor, using a laser to mark the position of each pendant. Then each of the 350 P1Ms were installed with a different cable length, “which was integral to the success of the installation, as the pattern needed to be exact and simple enough for it to be an efficient process, but random enough for the overall mass to look unified.”

Archilume P1M pendant lobby view

The spacious lobby as seen from inside looking toward the entrance

As far as maintaining the project’s LEED status, P1M’s low wattage, low output performance enabled reduced power consumption in the surrounding connective spaces, keeping the design compliant under the CA Title 24 code.

Archilume P1M pendant view from bar

Designer Khattak emphasizes the aesthetic versatility of this innovative pendant. Since they can be mounted individually or in clusters, and at different heights as well, P1M offers an extraordinary palette of possibilities: “The Watt Plaza Lobby lighting installation showcases the breadth of our product capabilities… We expect designers to explore and create limitless site-specific lighting installations for their projects. It’s like LEGO for light!”

Archilume P1M pendant detail of clustered grouping

P1M in a creative cluster. “It’s like Lego for light!”

For further information about the Watt Plaza lobby renovation, see Watt Companies and STUDIOS Architecture. And go to Archilume to read more about the possibilities of P1M and their entire lighting line.

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