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Veiled Ambient… Less is More.

ITOCHU’s open plan communicates the mission and brand of the No. 1 Japanese trading company. In this open plan work space that sits high atop Midtown Manhattan, the design embraces natural light diffused through translucent glass panels that stand as subtle reminders of the mission and vision of the company. The open plan represents a major transition from a previously enclosed office environment. The design then became the engine for exploring opportunities for greater comfort and communication in the daily business lives of the trading groups and administration. Marner Architecture was looking for luminaires with a minimal, peaceful look for clean ceilings and a natural light feeling throughout.

When it came time to spec lighting for the ITOCHU office, the team at Kugler Ning Lighting Design knew Stream veiled ambient would be stunning in the space, but recognized that photography doesn’t fully do the product justice. It needs to be experienced. They knew it would be critical for the decision makers to see this new breakthrough in person.

“We presented to our clients at ITOCHU with the veiled ambient sample side by side with a standard glowing fixture. Having a continuous reflector with no seams was a big selling point. They were thrilled at the prospect of not having to change broken lenses.”  – Ashley Muench of Kugler Ning Lighting Design

Stream 4˝ veiled ambient chosen for its clean aesthetic. With no lens or seams, Stream’s effect is more like natural cove lighting in ITOCHU’s open office environment. The soft, wide distribution of light allowed for 14´ spacing on center instead of the typical 10´ spacing. In combination with oversized ceiling tiles, the wider spacing and seamless nature of Stream veiled ambient enhanced the “natural light” effect. This couldn’t have been achieved with traditional LED linear lighting since frosted lenses typically have very poor distribution and max/min light ratios, requiring tight spacing criteria (1.0 vs veiled ambient’s 1.35). Additionally, traditional LED linear doesn’t effectively illuminate ceilings or walls, creating a cave-like effect. In contrast, at well over 100 lumens per watt, Stream 4˝ veiled ambient can be spaced further apart for a cleaner look and more uniform light.

For Ashley Muench of Kugler Ning Lighting Design, part of the ITOCHU team, it was all about aesthetics.

“We liked the idea because there was no lens, just a continuous, uninterrupted line of line with no visible seams. We were fortunate to have fairly tall ceilings for Manhattan and a nice, long space. Often, those linear lines don’t disappear the way we’d like them too, but with veiled ambient, the softness of the illumination has a quiet look.”

Max Nishikage, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer, ITOCHU, works in an all-glass office perched in the midst of the company’s open plan design. When asked about Stream veiled ambient, he remarked to Prudential Ltg. GM, Jon Steele, that he found the new lighting delightful to work under, and appreciated the elegant, minimalist aesthetic as opposed to the clunky seams of traditional lensed fixtures.

Products Used in This Project