"Choose Happiness" is the motto of a social housing complex in downtown Fort Lauderdale, Florida. It sets the tone for the philosophy of the Las Olas Society, which offers rental apartments dedicated to individuals looking for the ultimate environment to live, work and play in. Residents are seduced by the wide range of amenities and affordable rents.
A parking garage connects the two residential towers. Underneath this parking lot is a covered passage that houses a variety of restaurants and retail outlets. The latter also serves as an entrance hall to the complex. The developer commissioned HLB Lighting Design to create a unique lighting design for this passage.
"They wanted a spectacular experience," said Simi Burg, Associate Director of HLB Lighting Design’s Miami office. "We were looking for something inviting – something that appeals to passers-by and draws them inside the mall."
Burg opted for a selection of Lumistik CL622 and CL642 luminaires from Luminis to illuminate the space. The 24" and 48" suspensions, ideal for high ceilings, are installed to create random patterns through the cement ceiling. Lumistik’s LED light source is enclosed in a sealed acrylic cylinder, designed to provide a uniform light column.
"The overall effect of the lighting gives the impression of floating candles," said Burg.
With their 6-inch diameter, the fixtures are an ideal size, since they look graceful and uncluttered, rather than bulky and imposing, in the 30-foot-tall space.
The ocean breeze and occasional hurricanes are part of the reality of the Fort Lauderdale community. In this sense, the lighting of the covered passage has been specified with a concern for reliability and longevity. Lumistik suspensions are made of an anti-corrosion aluminum alloy and are designed to withstand extreme weather conditions. Particular attention has been paid to the choice of an adequate support according to the wind, but also to the vibrations caused by the cars circulating in the parking lot above.
The Luminis team proposed a mounting solution where the safety cable is housed inside a secure rod. As the same option had proved successful in an earlier metro tunnel project where comparable wind and vibration conditions had to be contended with, it was considered to be the best solution for the covered passage.
Regarding safety, it was necessary that the luminaires produce a comfortable level of light depending on their location in the city center. Since it is a transitional space, the light could not be too dim during the day or too bright at night, since visitors arrive from adjacent environments with very dark or very light brightness levels. It was essential that they could easily adapt to the brightness as soon as they entered space. In this sense, brightness levels are managed by pairing the luminaires with an automatic photocell dimmer. All luminaires are designed with a colour temperature of 3000K so that they blend with the adjacent interior lighting, while ensuring that residents and visitors feel safe when travelling through the covered passage to the entrance of the residences, or in shops and restaurants.
The architects managed to extend the spectacular aesthetics of the cylindrical lighting design beyond the covered passage. Lumistik CL640 columns and Lumistik CL623 bollards illuminate the pedestrian and vehicular traffic lanes of the land surrounding the property. Finally, the pool terrace is also equipped with CL640 columns.
"Lumistik creates a beautiful, soft, good quality light," concluded Burg. "The entrance experience, especially the lighting design, really elevates the neighbourhood.”
Project Name: SOCIETY LAS OLAS APARTMENTS
Location: Fort Lauderdale, Florida, UNITED STATES
Category: Outdoor lighting
Completion of work: December 2020
Lighting Designer (covered passage only): HLB Lighting Design
Agent Luminis: Power & Lighting Systems Inc.
Photographs: Chad Baumer