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Outer Drive East Riviera Club

Outer Drive East Riviera Club | Chicago, IL, 2008

What It Was

One of the major issues with lighting a pool is that it’s a pool! Chlorine is a catalyst for corrosion of copper, steel, and lighting fixtures. At 400 East Randolph, all existing light fixtures, conduit and wire had been completely corroded. The original lighting design for the pool incorporated a rudimentary color mixing system that was non-functional, but required the pool to be drained to change the lamps, an expensive maintenance practice.

What We Did

To design lighting in a corrosive pool environment means finding light fixtures that can first survive the elements. Lightswitch designed the pool lights with small fiber optic ferrules and put the metal halide illuminators in an easy to access remote location—no more pool draining.
A color wheel in the illuminators re-creates the color changing concept with modern technology, helping to reduce power usage by two thirds. The color changing patterns are programmed in a 30 minute cycle, including a 5 minute fireworks show of color and light. An astronomical time clock automates the entire system, turning the program on at dusk, off at dawn, and recognizing holidays for relevant color themes. The reflective surfaces of water and glass added another challenge to the project. Lights around the pool are pointed at the deck, not the water or the glass, avoiding glare. Uplights and LEDs dramatically light the architectural eyebrows which support the glass, while the fixtures themselves remain invisible or inconspicuous.

Why It Worked

Lightswitch re-created and improved upon the original color changing concept with updated technology, simplified maintenance, a significant reduction in operating energy costs, and a more sophisticated and beautiful color and light display. The lighting creates a themed environment which accentuates the architecture and adds visual drama to the space.

Photographs Copyright @ 2008 Steinkamp Photography