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Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church illuminated in the evening, a white and rounded building at the new World Trade Center in New York City
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St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church Recognized with IESNYC Lumen Award of Merit

(NEW YORK, N.Y., June 20, 2024) St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was recently recognized with the 2024 Lumen Award of Merit by the New York City Section of the Illuminating Engineering Society. DLR Group’s lighting design transforms what appears to be a solid stone church by day into a luminous beacon of light and hope at night, achieving the Archbishop’s goal that the church appears “to be lit from 10,000 candles.”

Interior view of the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in New York City showcasing lighting and intricate painting

St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in New York, NY. Photo by Alan Karchmer

The Lumen Award of Merit recognizes meritorious achievements in lighting design for permanent architectural applications. As a critical part of the reconstruction of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, the lighting design provides a symbol of the restorative powers of the faith to repair what the community lost upon its destruction on September 11, 2001. The design ensures an even brighter and lasting future for the Greek Orthodox community while remembering their past by overlooking Ground Zero.

DLR Group’s lighting design encompasses the interior and exterior of the 12,000-SF church, including the lobby, prayer rooms, a community room, bereavement rooms, offices, and a gift shop. The design’s “envelope of light” provides a diffuse ambient glow paired with strategic architectural lighting in the interior to highlight Greek iconography and ceremonial positions.

The team developed a unique modular lighting system mounted on the rainscreen structure directed inward to reflect off the building’s diffusing white thermal envelope to create an even, shadow-free surface of light emanating outward through the rainscreen. The color temperature and relative brightness of light sources are carefully designed and controlled to ensure a cohesive look and feel for the building inside and out.

“This was a very exciting project for us because light was everything,” said Principal and New York Studio Leader, Tom Gallagher, in a recent interview with Metropolis magazine.

DLR Group Senior Principal and Brand Communications Manager andy ernsting
For media queries, please contact: Andy Ernsting, Brand Communications Leader

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