The IESNYC announces the 14 winners of the 53rd Annual Lumen Awards

June 17, 2021
Focus Lighting’s Waterline Club, Renfro Design Group’s Saint Thomas Church, and Kugler Ning Lighting's Fotografiska New York win Awards of Excellence.

(New York, NY June 17, 2021) The New York City Section of the IES (IESNYC) announces the 14 winners of the 53rd Annual Lumen Awards. The Lumen Awards, a signature program of the IESNYC, is recognized as the world’s oldest, largest, and most prestigious lighting awards competition. Three projects received a Lumen Award of Excellence, seven received Awards of Merit, and four received Citations.

“Though just a small number of truly masterful projects are elevated, the Lumen Awards program celebrates our entire lighting design community,” says Clara Powell, LC, MIES, Regional Sales Manager, Cooledge Lighting and Adrienne Shulman, LC, MIES, Regional Sales Manager, ERCO Lighting, Co-Chairs of the Lumen Committee. “The IESNYC embraces passion, extraordinary effort, and resourcefulness in lighting, wherever they’re found. This year, that embrace means more than ever and it’s our pleasure to celebrate the 2021 Lumen Awards projects and recipients.”

A Lumen Award of Excellence is the highest level of recognition for permanent architectural application. This year, three projects and their designers were honored - Waterline Club at Waterline Square, Saint Thomas Church, and Fotografiska New York.

Waterline Club at Waterline Square, New York, NY; Focus Lighting - Stephanie Daigle, Brett Andersen, Andrew Leslie, Hilary Manners, and Zackry Weigand

The design intent for the city’s largest private indoor amenity space was to illuminate the sweeping volumes and sculptural forms using circadian rhythms as a guide by shifting the color temperature throughout the day. The lighting was integrated into the architecture to create an organic, and variable lighting scheme.

Saint Thomas Church, New York, NY; Renfro Design Group - Richard Renfro, Sarah Randall, Silvia Mazzarri, Fabio Tuchiya, and Jenny Stafford

The approach for the relighting of this landmarked church pays homage to the beauty and awe of this Gothic Revival sacred space while providing the benefits of new technologies, reduced maintenance, improved efficiency. With over 80 different zones of light and as many programmed scenes, the new lighting is flexible enough to meet all program requirements.

Fotografiska New York, New York, NY; Kugler Ning Lighting - Jerry Kugler, Michele Clement, Yungbin Kim, Damian VanCamp, Terry Nelson, and Chandej (Joe) Nakalertkavee

The landmarked Renaissance Revival Church Missions House has been adaptively reused as a photography museum. The use of low-profile façade lighting unifies the stone exterior and frames the interior spaces, from the ground floor bookshop and café to the second-floor restaurant and galleries above with LED fixtures, individually selected for optical control and high color rendering.

A Lumen Award of Merit is given in recognition for a meritorious permanent architectural application and this year, seven were awarded – Zero Bond, The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, Samuel De Champlain Bridge, MCC Theater, Hony Capital Shenzhen Headquarters, Financial Services NYC Flagship, and Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall.

Zero Bond, New York, NY; Focus Lighting - Edwin Allen, Brett Andersen, Theodora Chiu, Anna Krutsenko, and Hilary Manners

A private social club is now housed in a what was originally a factory. The lighting design creates the perfect balance of simplicity and luxury in this historic space and includes illuminating the original windows with linear white LED strips hidden within the window frame to the installation of a sparkling crystal chandelier in a modern enclosure at the entry.

The David H. Koch Center for Cancer Care at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY; HLB Lighting Design - Barbara Horton, Maria Dautant, Ketryna Fares, and Luis Carrasquillo-Alicea and ICRAVE/LICHT - Renée Joosten and Patricia Vallejo

Lighting plays a critical role in creating the hospitality-focused wellness experience. From diagnosis to recovery, the lighting creates impressions for the patient, families, and caregivers at each touchpoint. Lighting layers and warmer color temperatures transform in-patient rooms into a home away from home, with tunable solutions that respond to the benefits of preserving circadian rhythms.

Samuel De Champlain Bridge Montreal, Canada; HLB Lighting Design - Ken Douglas, Elizabeth Johnson, and Joe Spinnato

Created by concealed floodlights controlled individually to provide smooth dynamic effects, a continuous ribbon of light spans almost two miles across the expanse of the bridge and the river. In development for over five years, this complex lighting design utilizes more than 7,000 luminaires and over 45 universes of DMX control.

MCC Theater, New York, NY; Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design - Stephen D. Bernstein, Renata Gallo, and Marty Salzberg

The architectural palette in this theater is varied and ranges from unfinished concrete to glazed painted walls, metal, and veneered wood accents. The lighting scheme serves as the unifying element among these contrasting surfaces using large, illuminated glass disks in the lobby to the concealed wall grazers that illuminate painted wood perimeter screens in the main theater to the illuminated walls that envelop the audience in a subtle glow.

Hony Capital Shenzhen Headquarters, Shenzhen, China; Tillotson Design Associates - Suzan Tillotson, Shan Jiang, Chandni Azeez, and Esteban Varas

The tower features two slim facades on opposite ends – one glass and the other stone. The glass allows natural light to fill the office space and the stone contains a slot that reveals an interior atrium. Continuous low-wattage LED strip lights are integrated into a reveal at the facade fins to avoid reflections onto the glass curtain wall. At night, the grazed stone wall and the uniform louver ceiling uplight creates a golden luminous box in the three-story lobby.

Financial Services NYC Flagship New York, NY; Kugler Ning Lighting - Burr Rutledge, Meryl Sell, Maggie Judge, and Jackson Ning II and Lighting Research Center - Mariana G. Figueiro, PhD, Kassandra Gonzales, and Charles Jarboe

This financial institution prioritized health and wellness and so did the lighting design on their nine floors of LEED Gold certified office space. The two trading floors and workspaces have tunable-white fixtures and controls that promote circadian entrainment. The lighting designers partnered
with vision scientists to validate the system’s circadian effectiveness throughout the design process and spectra were evaluated in the LED chips, fixture samples, and full-scale mock-ups during construction.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan Train Hall, New York, NY; Domingo Gonzalez Associates - Domingo Gonzalez, Ilva Dodaj, Yi-Szu Liao, and AC Hickox

The lighting in the new train hall adapts automatically to the presence of natural light and as daylight fades, bold or neutral colors celebrate the trusses and purlins. At night, truss mounted RGBW uplights work in concert with façade washing, above the soaring skylight to articulate the structure while maintaining visual transparency. Though hidden, continuously dimmed luminaires draw attention to the building’s once hidden massive trusses when it was a post office, facilitate wayfinding, and illuminate site specific art installations.

A Lumen Citation is given in recognition for an art installation, technical detail, portion of a single project, temporary installation, or other work, and this year, four projects were awarded – Enoch Pratt Free Library, The Shed, The Prow at WarnerMedia HQ, and OPEN.

CITATION for Historic Restoration: Enoch Pratt Free Library Baltimore, MD; Tillotson Design Associates - Suzan Tillotson and Dagmara Nowak

Many of the historic Beaux Arts library’s original fixtures were lost and later replaced with fluorescent panels. The challenge was to create a timeless and seamless new look by restoring existing fixtures, replicating new fixtures from old photos, carefully introducing supplemental standard LED fixtures and a new control system.

CITATION for Sensitive Integration of Façade Lighting: The Shed - Tillotson Design Associates, Suzan Tillotson, Erin Dreyfous, and Megan Trimarchi

The highly reflective and transparent EFTE façade of a performance venue is softly illuminated by a series of individual LED accent lights recessed at the apex of each structural member that then graze up the streel from the interior to provide an indirect glow at each “pillow.”

CITATION for Artistic Media-Driven Installation: The Prow at WarnerMedia HQ; ESI Design (an NBBJ studio) - Edwin Schlossberg, Angela Greene, Kristen Svorka, Cara Buckley, Stuart Fox, Stephanie Land, Jonathan Grimm, Morgen Fleisig, HK Han, Yuri Sunahara, Michael Schneider, Ed Pu

A dazzling light sculpture is suspended 65-feet through four floors of a glass-enclosed wrap-around staircase. Though seemingly random patterns of color and light are actually algorithmically generated abstractions of media content and animates it across 258,400 LEDs.

Citation for Lighting as a Tool for Social Impact: OPEN;The Flint Collective NYC - Leela Shanker, Robert Van Antwerp, Jennifer June, Christina Yu-Ting Wang, Marco Lafiandra, Ana Lucia Ahumada, Carl Everett, JP Bedell, Andrea Nicole Puyat, Bill Kennedy, Tavish Miller, Samuel Powers, Marta Casarin, Billy Wong, Emmanuel Oni, David Zheutlin, Sam Kallman, Brian Bulaya, Shashank Singal, Matteo Seconi, Elaine Cook, Francis Grunfeld, and Kia Rogers

During the dark days of the pandemic, local lighting designers enlivened eight vacant storefronts in the East Village with light art installations that created an illuminated nighttime walk and brought a community together through the spectacle of light.

Visit the Lumen Journal at and ( for more information.

Watch the videos at

“Once again, we miss the excitement and camaraderie experienced at being at the Lumen Gala,” says Mike Barr, MIES, Account Supervisor, Lutron Electronics, and President of the IESNYC. “I applaud the Lumen Co-Chairs and the entire Committee for their innovative way of announcing the Lumen winners online. Join me in raising a glass to this year’s winners and the Committee.”

2021 Lumen Jury

All submissions were reviewed and selected by the 2021 Lumen Award Jury: Felicia A. Berger, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Principal, Ennead Architects; Craig A. Bernecker, PH.D, LC, FIESNA, Professor of Lighting Design and Director of the Masters of Fine Arts in Lighting Design, Parsons School of Design, The New School; Susan Brady, IALD, MIES, Founder and Principal, SBLD Studio; Enrique Garcia-Carrera, IALD, LEED AP BD+C, MIES, Associate Principal, Fisher Marantz Stone; Rachel Gibney, LC, ASSOC. IALD, MIES, Senior Associate, Available Light; Randy Reid, MIES, Publisher and Editor, Edison Report and Editor, designing lighting (dl); and Matt Rolfert, MIES Lighting Project Manager, Cosentini Associates.

Design Collaborators

Waterline Club at Waterline Square – Design Architect, Rockwell Group, Executive Architect, Hill West Architect; Fotografiska New York – Design Architect and Interior Design, CetraRuddy Architecture; Zero Bond - Architectural Designer, Studio Sofield, Architect-of-Record, Derek Ziemer; Koch Cancer Center - Architects, Perkins Eastman Architects in association with Ennead Architects, Medical Planner and Designer of Clinical Spaces, Perkins Eastman Architects, Experiential and Interior Designer of Public Spaces, ICRAVE; Samuel de Champlain Bridge – Architect, Donald McDonald Architects, Bridge Engineer, T.Y. Lin International Group; MCC Theater – Architect, Andrew Berman Architect; HONY Shenzhen - Design Architect, KPF, Architect-of-Record, Zhubo Design; Financial Institution – Interior Architect, The Switzer Group; Moynihan Train Hall – Architect, SOM; Enoch Pratt Free Library – Lead Architect, Beyer Blinder Belle, Managing Architect, Ayers Saint Gross; The Shed – Lead Architect, Diller Scofido + Renfro, Collaborating Architect, Rockwell Group; The Prow at WarnerMedia – Collaborator and Fabricator, Parallel Development, Collaborator and Structural Engineer, Craft Engineering Studio, Software and Motion Design, Rare Volume.

Photo Credits

Waterline Club at Waterline Square – Ryan Fischer; Saint Thomas Church – Renfro Design Group; Fotografiska - David Sundberg / ESTO; Zero Bond – Caprice Johnson; David Koch Cancer Center – Chris Cooper; Samuel de Champlain Bridge – Feinkopf Photography; MCC Theater – Michael
Moran/OTTO; HONY Shenzen – Rex Zou /Courtesy KPF); Financial Institution – Garrett Rowland; Moynihan Train Hall – John Bartelstone Photography; Enoch Pratt Free Library – Joseph Romero Photography; The Shed – Iwan Baan; The Prow at WarnerMedia – Keena Photo; OPEN – Leela Shanker

About the Lumens

The Lumen Awards were created in 1968 to recognize, honor, and celebrate expertise and ingenuity in lighting design. Winners are traditionally announced and feted at the Lumen Gala, in the presence of hundreds of attendees. For the second year, the Gala was unable to take place in June due to the pandemic. The 2021 Gala has been postponed and the 2022 Gala is scheduled to take place on June 16.

About the 14 Days of Lumen

Beginning today, the IESNYC kicks-off 14 Days of Lumen, a social media campaign on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, that will introduce one winning project per day. Each project will be described in detail in both technical and aesthetic terms. As a bonus the lighting designer/s will have the opportunity to discuss their projects.

About the IESNYC

IESNYC ( is the New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society. The IESNYC is the oldest and the largest Section in the Society. The IESNYC is a volunteer professional membership organization dedicated to promoting the art and science of illumination engineering to its members, professionals in allied fields, and the public through events, programs and educational series, social outreach, and networking opportunities.


Illuminating Engineering Society - New York City Section


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