Umbra Store Lit by Compact Fluorescents


If anyone wants to see how wonderful compact fluorescents really can be in the hands of a talented designer, visit the new Umbra store in Toronto, designed by John Shnier of Kohn Shnier Architects, the designers of the big Muskoka modern prefab, and Christopher Wright of figure 3. They built this giant chandelier out of Flow table lamps, designed by David Quan. According to Azure, Wright sketched out a plan for one fixture made out of 12 Flow lamps, but it worked out so well that they made five to hang in a row.


opening night


On the exterior, Shnier worked with Bjarne Pedersen of ALD (Architectural
Lighting Design)
to create 300 pink strips of translucent polycarbonate are installed over the glass walls, and at night embedded LEDs turn everything pink. Says Catherine Osborne in Azure: "In grey Toronto, any space that can emulate the light of the sun over a beach in Acapulco is nothing short of miraculous."



Shnier created one of the grander stairways in Toronto to connect the two levels;



One cannot call it a green building, and the product line has a bit too much Karim Rashid plastic for my tastes, but the lighting is a demonstration that CFLs are not poor replacements but in the right hands can truly shine. As for the LEDs, they demonstrate that lighting will soon no longer be an add-on but an integral part of the fabric of our buildings. ::Umbra in ::Azure all photographs from ::Flickr

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