Ireland House

Architectural lighting embodies office design intent through form, texture, and color

Ireland House is the amalgamation of three Irish government agencies under one roof in the heart of downtown San Francisco. The Irish government hired William Duff Architects, Inc. (WDA) with a unique challenge: design a space representing each agency's individuality and character while creating unifying elements that bring them together.

The 9755 sq. ft. space features open ceilings and oversized windows around the perimeter. WDA sought to take advantage of the significant sunlight at peak times while ensuring adequate lighting levels for both open spaces and closed rooms throughout the day. Eureka's Mute pendant was selected as the primary illumination source in the open offices.

“We wanted to celebrate the openness and volume of the space,” said David K. Plotkin, principal in charge and acting project manager for Ireland House. “But at the same time, we wanted to use the lighting as wayfinding and to center people’s focus as they move through the open space.”

The large-format Mute luminaires, at 32” in diameter, serve multiple roles in the space.

"We fell in love with its form and texture," Plotkin said. "This is a beautifully shaped fixture, and the scale was appropriate for these open spaces. And equally important, we could use the luminaire to express each department's identity and the overall design intent."

Plotkin selected three premium colors closely aligned with each agency's branding: Sky Blue, Grass Green, and Plum Purple. Mute's shape carries a common aesthetic across the open offices, while its vibrant colors clearly distinguish each department.

Each luminaire comprises twelve felt-like acoustic panels surrounding an LED light source. A wide planar diffuser directs functional yet comfortable illumination down to the workspaces below. 

Without the benefit of a drop ceiling to absorb ambient sound, the acoustic panels help to manage noise levels in the open offices. When sound waves encounter the felt fibers made from PET recycled material, the fibers' slight movement absorbs a portion of the waves, to reduce noise.

Plotkin notes that the open ceiling is busy with conduits, beams, and sprinkler pipes. Lighting and, subsequently, furniture set-up had to be adapted on the spot to accommodate ceiling constraints. So he appreciated that Mute, and its aircraft cable mounting, was easy to install and adjust in the field.

"Our team is really pleased with the quality of light and the quality of the luminaire itself," said Plotkin. We believe Mute was an excellent match for the space and design aesthetic."


Project Name: Ireland House

Location: San Francisco, California, USA

Project completion: February 2022

Architecture & Interior Design: William Duff Architects, Inc.

Eureka Agent: Sixteen 5 Hundred

Photographer: David Wakely Photography

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