AERO 313 luminaire is manufactured designed FUTURE designs from the original concept design by BDG architecture + design who were looking to depict the history of Detroit and its heritage for motor cars and soul music hence the design being aimed at a 1950’s style car steering wheel with a hint of loud speaker involved. AERO 313 is a bespoke, circular shaped luminaire designed to illuminate the workspace for the latest WPP campus in Detroit USA.

The light system can be found across the floors of the historic Marquette Building, a 150,000 square feet campus in downtown Detroit, also designed by BDG, which brings together many of WPP’s creative agencies under one roof. It is part of WPP’s commitment to restoring old, large industrial buildings in various cities around the world such as London, Amsterdam, Madrid, Lisbon, Paris, Warsaw and Prague, transforming them into destination workplaces.

AERO 313 luminaires are enormous circular forms. The design is manufactured from laser-cut aluminium, chosen for its lightweight properties, which was then powder-coated white. Around a continuous circle of LED lighting, there are three layers of fire-rated stretch fabric, coloured white on the underside so that light can diffuse and reflect. The mounted LED strip supports the internal back lighting of stretched fabric provide diffused light across the face of the luminaire providing optimal illumination without unwanted glare to comply with American guidelines on glare and average lux level requirements and accentuating the curve of the luminaire.

FUTURE Designs produced circa 100 of this large-scale luminaire, measuring 2235mm in diameter and 550mm deep, which had to incorporate a number of practical requirements such as sprinkler heads, speakers and smoke detectors. The luminaire has a perforated plinth with acoustic material behind it, with services mounted to the plate. The plate can be removed entirely to accommodate mechanical diffusers and there is also a removable acoustic panel within the top of the luminaire. This light is a creative, non-traditional way to approach the ceiling and acoustics budget of a commercial project such as WPP Detroit. AERO 313 meets the American UL standard in terms of safety and sustainability, as well as complying with UK standards.

FUTURE Designs looked to the area’s heritage in automotive manufacture and created a luminaire supported off three suspensions, intended to be reminiscent of a 1955 Ford Thunderbird steering wheel. This is also a reference to the fact that Ford is a long-standing client of WPP’s.

FUTURE Designs manufactured bespoke wooden crates to transport the luminaires. These crates are fully reusable with no pallets, card or shrink wrap packaging to minimise weight and corresponding environmental impact. Upon arrival, the luminaires were craned into the windows of the Marquette Building. The AERO 313 has a simple three point install with pre-wired power lead for added ease of assembly.

Together FUTURE Designs and BDG embraced the once in a lifetime opportunity to create this unique luminaire, which meets exacting technical standards and enhances this landmark workspace in Detroit.


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