Comprising 10 ColorReach Powercore high-output floodlights situated at the fourth-floor level on the South and West facades along with 6 Philips ColorReach Compact units at the eighth-floor level on the North (poolside)façade. All these ultra-long-throw luminaires project intense beams of controlled light vertically upward, grazing the fenestrated sections between the signature mosaic-tiled columns. This is complemented by an upper band of intense light encircling the top of the tower at the roofline. The latter consists of 16 pairs of vertically-mounted Philips ColorBlast Powercore fixtures with horizontally opposing beams of light grazing across the brick surface. Although relatively straightforward, this configuration presented a number of technical challenges, the most significant of which was the absence of any pre-existing, integral mounting points such as sills or ledges to support the fixtures.
During early fixture evaluation tests, it was determined that a three-foot offset would be required to enable the light beams to extend to the upper levels of the tower. So, to overcome this physical placement problem, dedicated hardware would need to be specially made to support the fixtures. Notwithstanding the need to bear the weight of the light fixtures, it was vitally important that these brackets would be as visually discreet and aesthetically pleasing to the eye as possible so as not to negatively impact the overall look of the building at street level during daylight hours. With these conflicting constraints in mind, Vaughan conceived an elegant solution to be made from sheet aluminum, incorporating a stenciled ‘M’ on the angled surface, clearly visible from the sidewalk. His inspired design contributes to the sense of transparency and impression of lightness that belies the strength and size of the bracket.
Working closely with the Dallas Historic Commission during this design development process, Reed-Walkup skillfully guided the project through the necessary regulatory requirements. As a listed building of historical significance, the commission’s members wanted to ensure any additions or modifications to Mosaic wouldn’t damage the fabric of the structure in any way and would be in keeping with the building’s original appearance.
To fulfil this requirement, he was able source a local steel fabricator to custom build this crucial hardware to exacting specifications, overseen and approved by a local civil engineering firm. Better yet, he was also able to match the distinctive ‘light sand’ color of the brickwork on both the brackets and the light fixtures themselves. The exception to this color scheme was on the pool (North) side where the existing black steelwork of apartment balconies logically dictated that the brackets and fixtures should be in matching black finish. The other key concern was the complete lack of any substantial decorative relief on the surfaces to be lit…unsurprising given the architectural style of the building! That said, during the fixture tests it became evident that the horizontal ridges formed by the steel window frames at every floor level, although not particularly deep, possessed highly reflective properties and as such, were valuable ‘catch points’ for the lights. This phenomenon, coupled with the relatively neutral light shade of the surrounding brickwork provides a strikingly effective canvas for the color-changing beams of light grazing over the surface.
The entire system is remotely controlled from a central processing unit located in an equipment room behind the main reception on the first floor. Each light has its own ‘identity’, allowing Vaughan to design and program a huge variety of ‘looks’ or shows to suit annual holidays, special occasions, citywide events or Dallas sports team wins. He has conceived and written a wide repertoire of light shows to mark 4th July, Dallas Pride Week, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and Easter among many others. The end result is a vibrant, kinetic, head-turning display that will act as a visual magnet, drawing traffic to the building and helping to enhance the marketability of the apartments. It is anticipated that the light shows will entertain residents, visitors and members of the public alike, all combining to generate a real ‘buzz’ and presenting Mosaic in a whole new light. This will help transform the entire site and make a positive impact on the nightlife in this part of the city for years to come.