Our LA design team was challenged to breathe new life into the Santa Ana community by creating a new master plan that clearly defined Temple Beth Sholom’s spaces, the procession to those spaces, and the sacred and holy areas within. Lighting through translucent glazing and the curved wood ceiling slats adds a beautiful glow to the streetscape. Our one-on-one with Senior Associate, Azusa Yabe, goes into detail about the inspiring mix of light and culture.

What made this project or experience special to you and your team?

The team was challenged to breathe new life into the community through this renovation project which has two aspects: the sacred and holy areas of the Chapel and Sanctuary, and the spaces that serve the congregation–the multi-purpose room and children’s class rooms. The temple was originally built in the early 1960s, and the project was really exciting to people in the community and the design team. We understood the impact of light in this setting, especially in the sanctuary where the Rabbi explained the different types of worship services held there. Multiple layers of light were used to create various settings.

Describe an energy challenge and how was it met.

T24 2013. Energy efficient LED sources throughout.

Describe a design challenge and how was it achieved.

Existing conditions that limited recess depths and fixture locations. Ongoing detail coordination with the Architect and mockups helped us though the process. It was helpful that the Architect’s office is a few blocks away.

Were aspects of the project culturally or historically significant?

Yes, the building is very important to the community (see above history).

Were there safety or security issues addressed by the design?

Yes, previous site conditions did not provide sufficient lighting along exterior circulation paths. Pedestrian bollards and building mounted adjustable downlights were used to improve the conditions.

Were there budget constraints and how were they met?

Yes, the budget constraints were a big challenge of this project. There were several meetings to go over Value Engineering packages, as well as reductions of some lighting details/layers without a big sacrifice in the design intent.

Was there something unique about the design process or method of delivery – Design Build? LEAN?

Value Engineering – there is always another way to do it!

What was your favorite aspect of involvement in the project?

Being able to understand the cultural importance of the space and light.

What were the project’s goals regarding lighting?

The importance of different light settings for the types of services and events that take place in the Sanctuary. The Rabbi helped us understand the lighting mood for each occasion.

How were these goals achieved?

Use of preset scene controls and multiple layers of light:
The tabernacle has 1) backlit newmat at the skylight which illuminates during cloudy days and/or evenings, 2) LED adjustable accent light which highlights the warm wood/gold finish 3) adjustable accent light for speakers and the stage area within the ceiling cove skylight details. The general seating areas have 1) linear cove uplights 2) decorative glass trim downlights 3) wallwash onto stone walls 4) back lighting of the historical colorful stained glass windows.

Are there any best practices that we have learned through this project?

The importance of reviewing fixtures, talking to colleagues about VE proposed fixtures and mockup.

“Through the use of hierarchy and layers of lighting within Temple Beth Sholom, the facility brings the multi-generational congregation together in an inspiring space that supports their spiritual endeavors.”


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