Lighting—natural and artificial—was key to creating an inviting office for Balyasny Asset Management in Chicago. The design by Valerio Dewalt Train Associates (VDT) needed to exude an elegant gravitas and take advantage of the location’s sweeping 49th and 50th floor views.

To thoughtfully balance the daylight from the floor-to-ceiling glazing with the office lighting system, VDT worked with lighting consultant Quentin Thomas Associates.

The result is a seamlessly crisp, modern aesthetic with intriguing focal points from reception to the staff kitchen. Adjacent to the reception desk, a dramatic installation of spherical glass pendants highlights an internal staircase connecting the space’s two levels. The droplet-like profiles soften the transition into the work spaces, compared with the rigor of linear LEDs installed on the ceiling above. These mingle with metal baffles and ceiling tiles, installed to control sound.

Above an in-house juice bar, the linear fixtures shift to form a striking grid on the bias, subtly branding the space with the shape of the company logo, a diamond. Another hub, the café, repeats the motif in diamond-shaped pendants and a ceiling arrangement of custom walnut-veneered triangular slats, mirroring a latticework pattern in the café floor. Beyond decoration, the ceiling’s triangles conceal embedded LED strips, producing an ambient glow, just enough light for sipping coffee, chatting with a client, or meditating on the view.