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LEDucation 2024: Christien Methot Gives Keynote Presentation

Founder & Principal Designer Christien Methot was featured as one of the keynote speakers at LEDucation 2024, at New York's Midtown Hilton. Methot's presentation was given on Design One Lighting's award-winning Gershwin Theater facade project.

Christien Methot speaks at LEDucation 2024.
Christien Methot speaks at LEDucation 2024

The audience was taken on a journey through history, starting in 1966 when New York City put special urban planning policies in place to accelerate development of new offices and theaters in the Times Square area. This gave way to the Paramount Plaza building, which Gershwin calls home.

As a result, the Gershwin is unusual among other Broadway houses, nesting inside the Paramount Plaza instead of being a standalone building. In 2018, the Gershwin's former concrete facade was beginning crumble to the street below, prompting the construction of large scaffoldings in front of the theater. MdeAS Architects approached Design One Lighting about creating a new facade so that the Gershwin could put its best face forward.

Design One Lighting was awarded Gold in the Architecture Collection's 2023 HOUZEE Awards
Design One Lighting was awarded Gold in the Architecture Collection's 2023 HOUZEE Awards

Methot went on to discuss the different lighting options that Design One Lighting examined with the architects, and explained how important doing full-scale mockups of different materials and lighting arrangements are to a successful project. The chosen design solution was a "horizon line effect," which lights each cell of the facade from only the bottom in order to create a more dramatic visual effect while using the lowest amount of wattage as possible.

The make-or-break element of the design came down to which light fixture would be chosen to be perfect balance of compactness and reliability, as well as being weatherproof and allowing the color mixing we would need. Methot stressed how essential it is to be well-researched as to what is available on the market. After several rounds of testing, the Martin Exterior Linear Graze fixture was chosen.

Various fixtures being tested at the Design One Lighting studio
Various fixtures being tested at the Design One Lighting studio

During the install, the design and contractor teams worked together to overcome challenges relating to the lack of space for the fixtures and to run cabling to them. The project was also designed with built-in future-proofing. Through the inclusion of Pharos controllers, each cell in the facade has the ability to act as a pixel in an animation, should the management decide to program special effects. Since completion, the project has proved to be very successful and has received critical acclaim from the Architecture Collection, the MUSE Design Awards, and LD+A Magazine. "This project is a prime example of my belief that it’s no coincidence the most successful concepts and designs are simple and bold," concluded Methot.

A close-up of the horizon-line effect on the Gershwin facade

To learn more about Christien Methot and Design One Lighting's work, visit


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