Turning Point Sculpture

Bringing outdoor public art to life is only one of the many feats Lumenbeam Ingrounds are capable of. In this case, Ron Friedman Lighting Design uses them to create art upon art.

Celebrated American architect and Cleveland native Philip Johnson finished his "Turning Point" sculptures in 1999. The sculptures, which are an entrancing cluster of five flaring and gently twisting rocky monoliths, were initially created for the John and Mildred Putnam Sculpture Collection at Case Western Reserve University. Recently, the sculptures have been moved to the East Bell Park, and with their new location, came a fresh, invigorating lighting design perfectly executed by Ron Friedman Lighting Design.


To uplight the sculptures so precisely, Ron Friedman Lighting Design chose to use Lumenbeam Inground luminaires. Because it is a pedestrian area, the luminaires had to be placed below or flush with the grade. The sculptures attract several onlookers, and the ingrounds are robust enough to handle the foot traffic, while also providing a thorough coating of light upon the angular sculptures.


To help light the angular sculptures, Ron Friedman Lighting Design utilized photogrammetry, the process by which a solid object in the real world is converted to a 3-D digital file. The original 3D digital files were created by the client, which were then used by Ron Friedman Lighting Design to create a lighting model to determine the number of fixtures and their placement. "The client first and foremost wanted to venerate the sculptures in a dignified manner," said Ron Friedman, Principal at Ron Friedman Lighting Design. "Looking at the sculptures, I chose to treat them as if they were natural objects, and so I wanted to subject them to the kinds of vagaries of light you see in nature. This included the use of shadow on parts of the surfaces."


One of the main challenges was to properly angle the light emitted from the luminaires to target specific sections of each sculpture while keeping the number of luminaires needed to a minimum. Using the adjustable Lumenbeam Ingrounds and their precision 35º x 90º optics allowed light to be aimed exactly where it was needed. Working closely with the Electrical Contractor, Tom Morgan of Harrington Electric, allowed the design team to place the luminaires in test positions before the concrete pour. After the inground inserts had been embedded in concrete, the aim of the Lumenbeams were easily adjusted.


The overall lighting design is one of subtle exactitude that not only dignifies the sculptures but naturally celebrates their every angle. Whether the Lumenbeam Inground luminaires are using their color-changing capabilities to mimic the seasons or to honor a local happening or celebration or merely provide white illumination, the end result is art itself.


14 x Lumenbeam Inground Large RGBW (35º x 90º)

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Location: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Market: Arts + Culture
Client: Case Western Reserve University
Lighting Design: Ron Friedman Lighting Design
Electrical Contractor: Harrington Electric
Programming: Vincent Lighting
Photographer: Frank Prpic