Boston Symphony Hall

Three layers of illumination enhance and restore a celebrated performance space.

Boston Symphony Hall, home to one of the most highly regarded symphony orchestras in the world, was designed by the architecture firm McKim, Mead and White, and completed in October 1900 exclusively for the Boston Symphony Orchestra. For more than 100 years, the hall has been the setting for magnificent musical performances; in 1999, the building was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark.

HLB Lighting Design created an overall lighting design strategy which solved a number of technical and aesthetic problems. The newly exposed clerestory windows provided a wonderful opportunity to uplight the arches highlighting the architectural details. The modeling and highlighting of the statues was achieved by adding three layers of light on each statue, key light, fill light, and back light, creating a feeling of depth. Minimal light fixtures using state-of-the-art technology in concealed locations deliver lighting effects without drawing attention, breathing new life into this treasured, time-honored hall.

Project Highlights

• Statuary illumination
• Hidden & dimmable LED strips


Ann Beha Architects


Project Background

• 264,000 square feet
• 2,500 seats


Illuminating Engineering Society (IES)
• Illumination Award of Merit

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