International Finance Corporation

iLight Plexineon fixtures accentuate the curves of the hourglass-shaped columns in the cafeteria at International Finance Corporation (IFC) headquarters.

Creating a Contemporary Cafeteria at International Finance Corporation

Plexineon Makes a Vital Common Space Modern and Welcoming

International Finance Corporation (IFC) is the largest global development institution in the world. A member of the World Bank Group, IFC’s stated mission is to create jobs, raise living standards, and build a better future for millions of people by offering investment, advisory and asset management services to encourage private sector development in more than 100 developing countries.

Looking toward its own future, IFC recently renovated the interior of its 1,100,000-square-foot headquarters in Washington, D.C. Nearly 2,000 staff members work in the triangular-shaped building that is located just blocks from the White House. Among the areas upgraded was the 18,000-square-foot cafeteria, which encompasses a kitchen, as well
as a serving and dining area.

Modernizing the space included installing iLight Plexineon White 1X 3500K fixtures as a design element. The LED fixtures accent the vertical lines of structural columns that are located in the middle of what is now a more welcoming and contemporary common area.


The Design Challenge

Rather than ignore the columns, RTKL, the project architect, chose to embrace them. Careful traffic flow planning assures the columns are not a physical hindrance, but a solution was still needed to make them less visually obtrusive.

Working closely with RTKL, architectural lighting design firm MCLA suggested outlining the columns with Plexineon, which the firm had used successfully on prior projects.

“We talked about providing an illuminated reveal, but we decided a luminous line of light would be more interesting,” – Frank Feist, Senior Designer at MCLA


The Plexineon Advantage

Plexineon not only provided the even line of bright light that the team was envisioning. It also helped that iLight was able to bend the fixtures to follow the four compound curves on each column.

“The Plexineon really does accentuate the hourglass shape,” Feist says.

The result is transformative — Plexineon adds lightness to the heavy columns, accenting their sculptural nature.

Once installed, the design team was delighted that the fixtures provide a glow that’s more contemporary than nostalgic.

Feist says, “Rather than look like neon, the Plexineon has a modern feel that’s perfect for what we were trying to achieve.”

The glow of Plexineon White adds lightness to the heavy columns, accenting their sculptural nature.


Project Details

IFC Headquarters

Washington, D.C.

Interior application

Direct view



Plexineon White 1X 3500

160 LF (49 m)

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