iLight's Plexineon provides blue LED lighting at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

iLight's Plexineon provides blue LED lighting at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
iLight's Plexineon provides blue LED lighting at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

When it opened, the $125 million, 334-room Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago, became the first Radisson Blu-branded property in the United States. Radisson is part of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, and the upscale Radisson Blu brand was already well-established in Europe, Asia and Africa.

iLight's Plexineon provides blue LED lighting at Radisson Blu Aqua HoteliLight's Plexineon provides blue LED lighting at Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel

Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago, is located on the first 18 floors of the architecturally acclaimed, 81-story Aqua Tower, which was designed by Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects and named the 2009 Emporis Skyscraper of the Year.

The interior of the hotel was the vision of U.K.-based designer Jim Hamilton of Graven Images. His design pays tribute to the Windy City -- its history and its industry. At the same time, myriad materials create a visual and tactile experience that is both compelling and contemporary.

Among those materials are iLight Plexineon Blue Series fixtures, which illuminate a striking feature wall behind the reception desk in the hotel lobby.

The Design Challenge

Hamilton's design called for a segmented wall made up of geometric-shaped metal panels with blue LED light glowing in between.

To bring Hamilton's intent to life, Loewenberg Architects, an affiliate of developer Magellan Development LLC, turned to Chicago-based lighting design firm CharterSills & Associates.

"The designer had a European product in mind, but we needed a more easily accessible U.S. product," says Erin Held, Senior Project Lighting Designer at CharterSills. Plexineon came to mind because Held had used it before.

"The biggest challenge was going to be fitting fixtures in the spaces between panels and making sure they fit tightly together for a very continuous look," Held says. "Plexineon was perfect because we could order it in custom lengths down to ½ inch increments. Also, Plexineon Blue was so close to the Radisson Blu brand color that we didn’t have to go custom to get the right color."

"It's so nice to have a direct view luminaire that you can look right at. It's also a very balanced light -- super even.:
- Erin Held, Senior Project Lighting Designer, CharterSills & Associates

The Plexineon Advantage

At installation, the process of piecing the wall together was "like doing a puzzle," Held says. Fortunately, Plexineon provided the seamless look that was needed. "All of the intersections meet end-to-end," she adds. (After this project, iLight introduced Recessed Housing for Plexineon to further simplify drawing, construction and installation of such applications)

In addition, the quality of light is just what Held had come to expect from Plexineon.

"It's so nice to have a direct view luminaire that you can look right at. It's also a very balanced light -- super even," she says.

The effect is clean and modern, perfect for what Held calls "a sharp, trendy brand" -- as well as a major new player on Chicago's world-class hotel scene.

Project: Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel
Site: Chicago
Location: Interior Application
Product use: Direct View
Lighting Design: CharterSills & Associates | www.chartersills.com
Building Architect:Studio Gang Architects | www.studiogang.net
Architect of Record: Loewenberg Architects, an Affiliate of Magellan Development LLC | www.loewenberg.com
Interior Design: Graven Images - Jim Hamilton | www.graven.co.uk
Product: Plexineon Blue
Length: 66.93 LF (20.40 m)

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