According to lighting designer Stephen Margulies, hiding luminaires helps a project to mature gracefully. “If a viewer’s first impression includes lighting equipment, then you run the risk of looking out of date,” says the partner of One Lux Studio. Heeding this philosophy, the New York–based firm achieved an ageless character in the three-story-high lobby of KPF’s recently completed office tower at 55 Hudson Yards.

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To provide an effective ambient glow in such a large volume, Margulies and his team took advantage of an approximately 2-foot-deep wood-look ceiling structure suspended over the 12,000-square-foot space. They concealed discreet LED wall washers around its upper edge in a cavity under the slab, angling the fixtures toward the granite cladding to accentuate the texture of the stone. A 3500-Kelvin color temperature lends warmth without muddying the surface.

Tucked into the perimeter of the suspended ceiling, beneath the wall washers, indirect linear LEDs illuminate the negative white space between the granite wall and the dropped wood plane. The brightness of these additional light sources enhances the ceiling’s floating quality and makes its hidden wall washers even less conspicuous. Visible mechanical slots on the underside of the ceiling house low-intensity LED downlights.

Backlit elements enliven the stone and enhance wayfinding. These include tall onyx panel insets behind the main reception desk and on the lobby’s west wall, as well as two large grids outfitted with vertically ribbed cast-glass panels—one near the entrance, another opposite the elevator banks. In both cases, integrated lighting amplifies KPF’s material choices, by highlighting both the waves of color in the onyx and the vertical ribs in the glass panels. “On timeless projects like this one, it is our job to let the light speak for itself without creating visual distractions,” Margulies explains. “You don’t see the equipment— instead, you see the effect.”



Kohn Pederson Fox, 11 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036, 212-977-6500,


Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit:

Trent Tesch, AIA, Lauren Schmidt, AIA, LEED AP, Lane Rapson, Jacyln Jung, AIA, NCARB


Lighting Designer:

One Lux Studio, 158 West 29th Street, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10001, 212-201-5790,


Personnel in lighting designer’s firm who should receive special credit:

Stephen Margulies, Yasamin Shahamiri, Rob Merow



Connie Zhou



12,000 square feet





Completion date:

February 2019




Lucifer lighting, Cylinder surface mounted LED CY3 in architectural pocket: Lucifer Lighting (Lobby and Elevator Lobby)

Square recessed LED downlight: LF Illumination (Bathroom)

Square recessed wallwasher: Lucifer Lighting (Elevator Cabs)


Tasklighting:  (accent lights)

Round recessed LED wallwasher and adjustable: Kurt Versen (Lobby)

Ceiling Cove Perfekt LRD light: Axis Lighting (Lobby, Elevator Lobby)

Linear LED strip at edges of feature glass panes: Axis Lighting (Lobby)

Glowing strip LED L24: Nanometer Lighting (Elevator Lobby)

Strip LED100: Picasso Lighting (Bathroom)

Linear LED under vanities: Ecosense Lighting (Bathroom)

Linear surface mounted Hardline: Dado lighting (Elevator Cabs)



Ew Graze: COLOR KINETICS (Façade Top of the Building)

Ew Graze, COLOR KINETICS (Lobby Entries)


Dimming system or other lighting controls:

Preset dimming control system: Lutron