Property & Buildings

3 Washington Buildings Earn Lighting Awards

Three buildings in Washington state have been recognized for lighting design excellence by the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES).

Anne Rainbow Savage

Anne Rainbow Savage

Melanie Taylor

Melanie Taylor

WSP USA served as the lighting designer in Washington state for the three buildings that received 2017 Illumination Merit Awards, which include:

  • 400 Fairview, a commercial mixed-use building in Seattle;
  • Building 22 Center for Student Success South Puget Sound Community College (SPSCC) in Olympia; and
  • Amazon in the Regrade, an urban corporate campus in Seattle.

Melanie Taylor served as the lead lighting designer for 400 Fairview and SPSCC Building 22. Anne Rainbow Savage was the lead lighting designer for Amazon in the Regrade.

The IES Illumination Awards program recognizes individuals for professionalism, ingenuity and originality in lighting design based on the merit of each project. Judging is based on how well the lighting design meets the program criteria.

The awards were announced in early June and will be presented on Aug. 10 in Portland, Oregon.

400 Fairview

Completed in 2015, 400 Fairview is a 14-story mixed-use office building that serves as home for several tech companies, plus an at-grade block-long community market hall offering dining, shopping and gathering space. The 335,000-square-foot building, owned by Skanska USA, is located in the South Lake Union Neighborhood of Seattle.



Custom blackened steel “chandeliers” at the 400 Fairview plaza create patterns on the wood soffit and floor, adding to the building’s nighttime ambiance.

A key concept for the design team was to foster community and connection to the neighborhood for the building tenants and visitors. The design intends to provide an enhanced pedestrian experience in the car-heavy neighborhood that will set the standard in this area of the city.

The building was designed using a contemporary marketplace concept supported by the use of industrial-style light fixtures intermixed with high-end decorative fixtures that helped the project meet low-cost constraints.

“The lighting system was integrated into the architecture to reveal the rich, exposed materials of the project, and the design was based on historic open-stall markets with an exposed, industrial feel,” Taylor said.

"Careful consideration was required for the use of exposed conduit paths and fixture mounting details, as exposed architecture requires a high level of coordination to create an ‘easy’ and ‘industrial’ appearance," she added. “At each phase of the project, the WSP design team reviewed fixture placement and conduit paths to ensure a coordinated appearance."

The lighting system is controlled via networked panels that provide automatic time of day changes while providing each tenant local control of their market stall. Energy efficient light sources were designed to exceed Seattle’s strict energy code requirements.



Asymmetric electric uplighting enhances the architectural form of Building 22 at South Puget Sound Community College. Daylight and electric light integration create an open and luminous environment for students.

The high-performance lighting control system and long-life low power density contributed to 400 Fairview earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

SPSCC Building 22

SPSCC Building 22 in Olympia was renovated in 2015 to create a 90,000-square-foot student campus center that features a central commons, library, student services and a center for teaching and learning.

The renovated building is focused on student well-being and education. An important goal was to create a state-of-the-art energy-efficient building using the existing structure that retained and exposed the distinctive and iconic structure of the original building, built in 1976.

The WSP lighting team worked closely with the architects through multiple iterations to develop a strategy that provided daylight levels through two stories of the commons space that avoided direct sun and high contrast in the student services areas.

“SPSCC challenged our design team to create a daylighting system that did not need moving or mechanical parts to provide diffuse daylighting,” Taylor said. “The lighting team devised an approach that uses the orientation of the building and an asymmetric roof structure to provide even daylight levels.”

The electric lighting was integrated into the daylit spaces by replicating patterns of daylight inside the building at night. A carefully planned lighting system uses a task/ambient approach to further reduce lighting energy use, where networked lighting control panels and photocells automatically shed electric light during daylight hours to conserve lighting energy.

The project earned a LEED Silver certification.

Amazon in the Regrade

The WSP lighting design team provided services for Amazon in the Regrade, a central hub of the internet-based retailer’s downtown Seattle corporate campus. The project, completed in the fall of 2016, included the entry, security, amenity, and food service portion of one of Amazon’s three workspace towers.



Amazon in the Regrade provides organized ambient illumination interspersed with lighting specific to each program area, creating a system that is dynamic, integrated and easily maintained.

“The building’s dynamic and complex series of program spaces is conceptually known as the Center Of Energy,” Savage said. The loft-like space provides staff and visitors with a diverse offering of meeting, teaming, waiting and dining options.

The WSP lighting team developed an illumination strategy that supports numerous active functions while reinforcing the simple architectural design of the space. Cable-mounted light-emitting diode (LED) cylinders produce an overall level of low contrast ambient light that supports visual comfort, while decorative fixtures and integrated lighting elements enhance the visual interest of the space.

The project was designed and built on a fast-track schedule, which required close collaboration between the design and contracting teams, ongoing business information modeling (BIM) clash detection, and extensive onsite review.

The project met Seattle energy code requirements and earned LEED Gold certification.

“With all the work that goes into a project like this, it’s especially gratifying to see the finished product,” Savage said. “As the first of the new Amazon towers on its urban campus, the building – and its unique amenity spaces – begin to give architectural form to the corporate identity and help create a spatial experience for Amazon. It’s exciting to provide lighting that both supports and animates the architecture.”


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