Westfield Century City Mall

    Los Angeles, California, USA

    Atrium transformed by a lattice of light


    Century City Mall is Westfield Properties’ flagship property in Los Angeles. A major renovation was the ideal opportunity to transform its atrium into a dynamic space to host special events and fashion shows and provide a general area for people to gather and rest.


    A sense of intimacy

    Forman and Associates, a Signify Certified System Integrator and a premier agency in the Southern California Region for architectural solid-state lighting and entertainment lighting systems, worked closely with Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design on the design and execution of the project. Their shared design goal was to create a sense of intimacy, which would be achieved by creating a subtle flickering – an almost candle-like effect – across the complex asymmetric latticework of the wooden ceiling structure which covers roughly (we lead with metric and in parenthesis imperial ) 00 x 00 M (150 X 100 feet) above the entire central area.


    Bringing the design together

    Color Kinectics iW Flex Compact nodes were chosen to light the structure as they could easily be customized to create the physical patterns required. Forman and Associates created custom strings to obtain the correct spacing. Where necessary, individual nodes were turned off and their lenses covered with a special matt black paint to make them ‘disappear’. This technique was used for areas where the node spacing was greater than was technically possible – Forman and Associates created blacked out filler nodes as required on each string.

    In all, the project features 149 customized Color Kinetics iW Flex Compact strings with 3,209 nodes. The strings were programmed using a Light System Manager (now specified with iPlayer 4) to create the right mix of warm and cool color temperatures to achieve the flickering candle effect. Special care was taken to ensure the effects did not appear to repeat over the course of an evening. The system also automatically turns on at sunset and off at pre-set times as specified by the client.


    Satisfying the brief

    The initial input provided by Westfield Properties contributed to the project’s success – the brief was strong and definitive which helped the design team to specify exactly what was needed. Forman & Associates worked closely with the designers to create a series of mock-ups until the exact effect the client was looking for was created. Achieving this effect made the effort worthwhile as the effect, the atrium’s lighting installation is exactly what the owner wanted: a flexible space that can be used to host special events and promotional activities when necessary, while also providing an open yet intimate area for shoppers to relax and recharge.

    Project credits


    Westfield Properties


    Lighting Designer:

    Horton Lees Brogden

    Signify Certified System Integrator:

    Forman & Associates



    David Cumatz


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