Sewell Cadillac Houston - 2014
Houston, TX, USA

Architect: Gensler-Dallas

Work completed with L'Observatoire with B. Alex Miller as project manager and lead designer.

Studying the history of automotive display from its earliest manifestations to its current state, B. Alex Miller was able to develop a lighting system that specifically addresses the basic notions of how the automobile should be displayed according to its representative history. When autos were first sold, they were typically displayed in the context of spaces that represented the 'wealthy living rooms' of the time. The cars were treated almost as furniture items. However, its inception, the auto has also always been inextricably linked to the exterior landscape through which it travels.

The lighting for this project evokes this notion of the automobile within its appropriate context of landscape. On the building interior, a single aperture skylight hovers above the location of each parked automobile, representing it with the ambient light of the natural landscape. As the day transitions to night, the same skylights are used as lanterns for indirect electric lighting. For the exterior, the natural light of the sky provides the daytime display. For the transition to night, a lighting system was developed that maintained this notion of the automobile being on display in the natural landscape, using the illumination of glowing 'pods', suspended within the tree canopies. These pods evoke the glow of the moon, completing the cycle of light from day to night.

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