Plexineon tricks the eye at a new restaurant in Chicago’s Chinatown
A new Asian fusion restaurant in Chicago’s Chinatown provides not only a cool, contemporary setting for dining, but also a stage for karaoke, creating a unique addition to a neighborhood with an emerging nightlife scene.
The ample space throughout 15/20 Lounge incorporates a range of textures and dramatic elements. Contrasting against brick walls and other industrial elements are sleek strips of light that pop against the otherwise low ambient lighting. Among them are iLight Plexineon Red LED fixtures recessed and mounted vertically along one side of a narrow hallway that leads to private party rooms.
“I know these will last for a long time.”
– Emily Lai, LC, Lighting Designer
The Design Challenge
For lighting designer Emily Lai, staggering varying lengths — from 2-foot to 4-foot — of Plexineon at different heights was a strategic decision to draw the eye.
“The ceiling is open, and there’s a lot of exposed ductwork,” she says. “Putting the Plexineon at eye level provides a distraction; the ceiling kind of disappears.”
Also, since the hallway can be seen from the expansive lounge, the fixtures serve to entice patrons to explore the restaurant further. “They pique your interest and create curiosity,” Lai says.
Being able to recess the fixtures was also important. “The hallway is only about 5-foot wide, so we didn’t want anything protruding,” says Lai, who used iLight’s new Recessed Mount System to ensure a clean, seamless installation.
With a specially designed channel and clips, the Recessed Mount System makes design and installation easy, cutting both time and costs. The extrusion is field cuttable, and three different fixture positions are possible: exposed, semi-recessed, and fully recessed (flush).
Recessed lighting often requires greater maintenance, but Lai chose Plexineon because it’s also very durable. “I know these will last for a long time.”
The Plexineon Advantage
She had seen Plexineon employed in other settings, but had never specified it herself until this project. She wouldn’t hesitate to use it again. An added benefit is that the fixtures invite interaction. “People like to touch it,” she says.
Perhaps the best measure of success is that the building’s owner was impressed. “Prior to installing the Plexineon, he was thinking of covering the ceiling. But I told him the fixtures would detract from the ceiling. Once the construction lights were off, he could see it worked. He was very happy.”
Emily Lai, LC
48 LF (14.63 m)
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