Lighting brings an outdoor feel to interior atrium

March 30, 2020
Luminis’ Aramis AR168 luminaires helped achieve the desired effect of 'lowering' the ceiling in Kiewit's vast, four-story atrium.

Kiewit is one of North America's largest and most respected construction and engineering organizations. Embarking on a significant transformation of its regional headquarters in Lenexa, Kansas, the company renovated two existing towers connected by a vast atrium space. The overall design engaged Kiewit's core business practices of industrial engineering and construction in a contemporary aesthetic.

Lankford | Fendler + associates was hired for the mechanical, electrical, and plumbing on the renovation. And working alongside architects HOK, the company was tasked with creating the lighting design for one of the most dramatic spaces of the project; the atrium.

The glass-walled atrium is quite impressive at four stories high, with indoor balconies from the adjoining towers looking down onto the space. It serves as a common area for dining, team meetings, and building-wide functions, and is often referred to as the work café.

Maintaining the height and grandeur of the multi-story space, while also creating a sense of intimacy, was a key design objective. So, the team looked for creative ways to visually “lower” the ceiling.

Levi Dermyer, Intern Electrical Engineer at Lankford Fendler, selected Luminis’ Aramis AR168 luminaires to help achieve the desired effect. The catenary-mounted black pendant fixtures are strategically placed along cables suspended 16 feet above the floor.

“By bringing down the lighting plane to this height, it allowed us to create a more comfortable and inviting environment,” Dermyer said.

Installation of the luminaires in this unusual space posed a challenge. There were sufficient vertical structural elements, and overall structural strength, to support the cabling and the catenary nodes, but these were not always in the ideal location.

“The cabling layout required a coordinated effort and compromise between all team members,” said Dermyer. “There was also a challenge to keep site lines clear to the stage area of the café. In the end I think that everyone felt that their design goals were met.”

The thirty-two AR168 pendants each deliver a powerful 3,000 lumens. With a 3500K color temperature, the high-efficiency downlight reflector in each fixture effectively directs a bright yet comfortable illumination down to meeting tables, workspaces, and open floor areas below.  And with a lifetime beyond 125,000 hours, the luminaires will contribute to the organization’s daily energy savings goals.

“We always wanted to make this feel like an outdoor space, particularly taking advantage of the glass expanse,” said Eric Linebarger, senior associate at HOK. “We like the way the catenary-mounted Aramis pendants contribute to the feeling of a street café.”

“Luminis offered the right combination of size, aesthetics, and performance for this project," concluded Dermyer. "The installation is not only successful from the ground level but when viewed from the upper balconies, it is also striking."

PROJECT NAME: Kiewit Engineering

LOCATION: Lenexa, Kansas, USA

CATEGORY: Interior Lighting


ENGINEERING: Lankford | Fendler + associates


AGENT: Premier Lighting & Controls

PHOTOGRAPHY: Michael Robinson Photography


Jason Broadhurst, Director of Marketing - Luminaires Group

A-Light | Cyclone | Eureka | Luminaire LED | Luminis

Acuity Brands Lighting, Inc.


[email protected]

Web site: