Seattle’s lumenomics uses lighting and roller shade system design to transform spaces, productivity, and livability for occupants.
When Marti Hoffer, lumenomics CEO, describes her passion for integrated lighting design, it’s clear that passion and purpose have met. Her preferred metaphor compares window coverings to eyelids, and when her own eyes sparkle with the enthusiasm of someone who has found her calling, it’s hard not to get caught up in the conversation.
It’s harder still when Hoffer gives you a tour of her company’s most recent project—her baby—at Seattle’s Atlas Workbase.
The coworking space is the latest hit in Seattle, where businesses like Amazon, Microsoft, and plenty of up-and-comers seem to vie not just for techie titles but for wellness work perks, too. Light, in this cloudy town, doesn’t typically lead those lists of workspace perks, but after more organizations get a feel for Hoffer’s work, perhaps it will.
Atlas Workbase CEO and cofounder Bill Sechter called Hoffer into the project at the start to work on the space’s lighting solutions early on. With only one wall to provide natural light, and a deep space to be divided into 50 subspaces, the Atlas Workbase founders needed all the help they could get. Hoffer and the team behind her natural lighting design firm, lumenomics, provided the expertise Sechter knew he needed.
“The key goals of our project focus on creating a space centered on health and wellness, ergonomics, and, with the challenge of the one wall, one of our top concerns was how we would light the space,” Sechter says.
lumenomics’ effort that went into designing a lighting system from the Philips catalog—one that appeals to the needs of workers young and old and soothes their optic nerves—is obvious from the moment you walk in. Visitors are greeted at the door by a moving Luminous Textile. Colors flow in soothing, dynamic formations, foreshadowing the Atlas Workbase ethos of flexibility, productivity, and collaboration inside.
Stepping past the welcome desk is like stepping on to the set of the latest office television drama. In a set design that features the latest in workspace furniture and configurations, it’s the lighting that makes everything pop.
Single businesspeople on the go kick back in ergonomically designed chairs that take advantage of the “one wall,” as it’s been nicknamed, which looks out over Seattle. If the sun’s reflection becomes too much to bear, workers can adjust the SunOrShade window coverings using the straightforward Philips Antumbra user interface, and the glare is gone in a blink.
Deeper into the space, conference rooms feature the Philips OneSpace luminous ceiling, which mimics outdoor natural light. The Philips Dynalite System customizes lighting in all of the 50 Atlas Workbase subspaces: Each room dims or brightens based on the time of day, programmed schedules, or room occupancy. Control panels make the complex work of keeping 50 spaces customizable for individual users easy and effortless.
“Investing in light and user-friendly controls from day one affords so much ability to manage occupant comfort and productivity,” Hoffer says. And yet so often good lighting is barely an afterthought. Consequently, glare hurts older and more sensitive eyes, leading to strain and even injury. Poorly conceived controls don’t get used, and even the most sustainably designed buildings see their energy use go up. Work hours feel even longer.
Not in Hoffer’s meticulously designed space.
“People tell us every day, ‘I’ve never had a more productive day of work,’” Sechter says. “I hear that all the time.” The difference is the ability his clients have to customize their space and create, with lighting as the main player, the environment conducive to their needs.
“Because we invested in the health and wellness and client experience of our members, lighting has really added to Atlas Workbase and our experience here,” Sechter says. “People talk about our lighting.”
Why This Matters
Health, energy, and lighting are important aspects of building codes in every corner of the country. But navigating those codes can be tedious. With experts like lumenomics at your side from the start of a building project, health and energy codes translate to sophisticated design solutions that reduce a building’s energy needs and increase the happiness of its occupants. Any building can be designed sustainably—the point is to make it user-friendly.
At Atlas Workbase, SunOrShade roller shades allow natural light to seep in as needed, OneSpace impersonates a skylight in the depths of a difficult space, lighting controls adjust brightness to suit any eye, and spectrum-enhanced task lighting nurtures circadian rhythms and increases energy savings.