IES: Meanwhile, Back at the Office

When Mazda established roots in Irvine, CA, 30 years ago, its five-story headquarters was the up-and-coming city’s very first high-rise development. As Irvine grew, so too did Mazda, and in 2017 the company hired local firm LPA Inc. to design its new, larger HQ—replete with lighting worthy of a feature article in the May 2019 issue of LD+A. What that article didn’t cover was how LPA also went on to transform Mazda’s humble beginnings into another company’s fresh start.

“Mazda sold the building to MerchSource when they moved their headquarters in 2017,” says LPA’s Rebecca Ceballos, who was part of the lighting design team for both projects. MerchSource—a marketing and retail distribution company—arrived at their new home with a vision for its transformation, which guided LPA’s subsequent two-year renovation project. “The goal was to create a space where retail and corporate design concepts could melt together, and to create a cohesive design that continues to flow throughout the building,” Ceballos says.

Merchsource 3
Sharper Image showroom

The retail “celebrations”—three branded showrooms for Sharper Image, FAO Schwarz and a generic store—are located on the first floor. While each showroom is visually distinct, all three faced a similar challenge during the specification process. “Given the project’s goals of LEED Silver and providing a retail style, we had energy concerns,” Ceballos explains. “We achieved them by using the accent and decorative lighting as general illumination, as we did not have the energy allowance to provide many layers of light, which is indicative of retail design.”

Sharper Image’s showroom, for example, is defined by an illuminated ceiling plane (Cooledge) surrounded by adjustable spots (ALW) highlighting merchandise. “The traditional way of providing illuminated ceilings is creating a light box that is 18- to 36-ft deep and LED tape with the same spacing,” Ceballos says. “Not only is this heavy in appearance but it’s also wattage heavy, so we needed a new way to provide this ceiling. Luckily, Cooledge just surfaced on the market and was able to provide the solution.”


View Original Article