Chaos Meets Cohesion

The Santa Monica Esplanade is one of the most utilized stretches of public space within the city of Santa Monica, making it an ideal location to highlight the city’s commitment to environmental responsibility. Atelier Ten’s lighting design created a fun, inviting outdoor environment while also supporting the sustainability goals with an energy efficient lighting scheme. Chad Groshart discusses the unique lighting design in the recent Illuminated Engineering Society (IES) article “Chaos Meets Cohesion.”

“Early on we knew we wanted to make a visual statement…the pier has a long history of bright colors that change and it has a carnival-like feel,” says Groshart.  Drawing inspiration from fairgrounds and carnivals, strands of catenary luminaires extend the festiveness of the pier along the esplanade and create a sense of place and arrival. In close coordination with PWP Landscape, pole locations and colors were selected to correlate with the rhythms of trees, benches, and wavy paving patterns within the existing street grid to emphasize the desired sense of energy and movement along the esplanade. “We really wanted to create a feeling of light with this scheme that would be taut and orthogonal to the buildings in the area around it,” says Groshart.

“Seeking to create order amidst the chaos of trees, buildings and a Ferris wheel in the distance, Groshart kept the lighting design symmetrical and flat in order to draw people through ‘a grid of perfectly aligned dots.'” Read the full article by Katie Nale here.