Engaging lighting design draws visitors into eclectic downtown apartment complex

“Choose happiness” is the motto for a social apartment community in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It sets the tone for Society Las Olas, which offers rental apartments targeted to individuals seeking the ultimate “live work play” environment. Residents are attracted by an extensive range of amenities and affordable rents.

A parking garage connects the two residential towers. Below that parking deck is a massive breezeway which is home to various restaurants and retail stores, and also serves as the entranceway to the complex. The developer hired HLB Lighting Design to create a signature lighting experience for the breezeway.

"They were seeking a 'wow' experience," said Simi Burg, associate principal of the Miami office of HLB Lighting Design. "We were looking for something inviting - something that would engage passersby and draw them into the retail plaza."

Burg selected a collection of Luminis’ CL622 and CL642 Lumistik fixtures to illuminate the space. The 24” and 48” high ceiling pendants are suspended in random patterns across the cement ceiling. Lumistik’s LED light source is contained in an acrylic sealed cylinder, designed to provide a uniform column of illumination.

“The overall lighting effect is a feeling of floating candles,” Burg said.

With a 6" diameter, the scale of the luminaires was ideal, as they appear graceful and uncluttered in the 30-foot-high space, rather than bulky and imposing.

Ocean breezes, and the occasional hurricane, are a reality for the Fort Lauderdale community, so the breezeway lighting was specified with a focus on long-term reliability and durability. The Lumistik pendants are made of corrosion resistant aluminum alloy and are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. And special attention was paid to choosing the appropriate mounting to account for wind but also for vibrations from the cars moving through the parking garage above.

The Luminis team proposed a mounting solution whereby a safety cable would be housed inside a secured stem. A previous subway tunnel project with comparable wind and vibration conditions had successfully utilized this option, so it was considered a good fit for the breezeway.

From a security standpoint, it was necessary that the luminaires provide a comfortable level of illumination for the downtown location. Since it’s a transition space, the lighting couldn’t be too dim during the day or too bright at night because visitors are transitioning from very bright or dark adjacent light levels. It was critical the illumination levels were easy to adapt to as soon as you enter the space. Light levels are therefore managed by pairing the fixtures to an automatic dimming system with photocell. And all luminaires are specified with a 3000K color temperature, to blend with the adjacent interior lighting, while ensuring that residences and visitors feel safe and secure as they navigate through the breezeway to the residence entrances, shops, and restaurants.

Architects successfully carried the dramatic cylindrical lighting design aesthetic beyond the breezeway. Lumistik CL640 columns and CL623 bollards illuminate the driveways and pathways around the perimeter of the property. And the pool deck also features CL640 columns.

“Lumistik creates a nice luminous glow, with a good quality of light,” Burg said. “The whole entry experience, and in particular the lighting design, really elevates the neighborhood.”

PROJECT NAME: Society Las Olas Apartments
LOCATION: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, USA
LIGHTING DESIGNER (breezeway only): HLB Lighting Design
LUMINIS AGENT: Power & Lighting Systems, Inc.

  • Location
    Fort Lauderdale, FL, USA
  • Category
    Exterior Lighting

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