New York's Walker Tower gets LED façade lighting from Erco

Oct. 20, 2015
SSL installation highlights the architectural details on the Art Deco façade and spires of the Walker Tower skyscraper in the Tribeca section of Manhattan.

SSL installation highlights the architectural details on the Art Deco façade and spires of the Walker Tower skyscraper in the TriBeCa section of Manhattan.

Erco has announced a new LED façade lighting project involving the Walker Tower located near Ground Zero in the Tribeca section in the Manhattan Borough of New York City. The outdoor solid-state lighting (SSL) project reveals the architectural details on the façades and spires of the building while not spilling light beyond the target via the use of more than 100 Erco projectors.

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The Walker Tower has long stood prominent in the famed New York skyline. The building dates to 1929 and was designed by architect Ralph Thomas Walker. The design is unique in that the asymmetrical structure narrows in steps with altitude. The design was intended to allow more sunlight to reach the ground to meet New York regulations at the time of construction. The building is considered a peer to the Empire State and Chrysler Buildings.

The 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York left the Walker Tower damaged and subsequently the once commercial building was renovated and converted into luxury apartments. Now those residents will have subtle but impactful LED façade lighting on their structure. The design did not intend to compete with dynamic colored lighting such as we covered on the Miami Tower, but rather to simply reveal the architectural details.

Indeed, the Walker Tower has a unique façade. Windows are recessed while some walls project outward and feature linear patterns. Other areas of the structure include complex façade patterns with floral, graphic, and figurative motifs.

New York-based Kugler Ning handled the new LED façade lighting design and specified the 7W Erco Grasshopper luminaires with a narrow 6° beam pattern. The narrow spot beam places the lights precisely on the architectural details while eliminating light pollution that could spoil skyline views.

The building also features a crown structure that includes four spires that were damaged but replaced when the building was refurbished using the original drawings of the architect. Kugler Ning installed 20W Erco Lightscan projectors with a 6° beam pattern for the spire lighting.

The result of the design is a building that Erco says appears "sculptural." The lighting creates an interplay of light and shadows with subtle grazing. And the design team specified the project with the mandate of creating no glare. The projectors do not spill light onto balconies or into windows. Moreover, the small luminaires are attached to the building walls but blend into the architecture.

Erco LED-based products have been involved in a number of high-profile indoor and outdoor projects. Recently, we covered a retail lighting project at an olive-oil factory retail outlet in Berlin, Germany. The company was also behind a museum lighting project in Milan, Italy including indoor and outdoor elements.

About the Author

Maury Wright | Editor in Chief

Maury Wright is an electronics engineer turned technology journalist, who has focused specifically on the LED & Lighting industry for the past decade. Wright first wrote for LEDs Magazine as a contractor in 2010, and took over as Editor-in-Chief in 2012. He has broad experience in technology areas ranging from microprocessors to digital media to wireless networks that he gained over 30 years in the trade press. Wright has experience running global editorial operations, such as during his tenure as worldwide editorial director of EDN Magazine, and has been instrumental in launching publication websites going back to the earliest days of the Internet. Wright has won numerous industry awards, including multiple ASBPE national awards for B2B journalism excellence, and has received finalist recognition for LEDs Magazine in the FOLIO Eddie Awards. He received a BS in electrical engineering from Auburn University.