iilluminati: Sean Murphy and Avraham Mor

Luxury is no longer limited to high-end residential spaces, hotels, and retail environments. Lighting designers and architects are exploring ways to elevate all types of spaces with brilliant lighting, including health and wellness clubs like BIÂN in Chicago. 

Aside from the aesthetic benefits of a beautifully designed environment, well-lit spaces offer mental and physical benefits to people, too. Installing LEDs instead of conventional light sources has been linked to increased focus and the release of endorphins and serotonin in the brain — a win-win for health-conscious spaces and the people who spend time within them.

The architecture and lighting design behind BIÂN, a 21,000-square-foot exclusive wellness club in Chicago, exemplifies the benefits of creating beautiful and serene spaces. The club required a lavish and luxurious feel that also evoked a sense of peace and tranquility. Karen Herold, the interior designer of the project, recruited Sean Murphy and Avraham Mor from Morlights to achieve this balance and bring the health and wellness club to life with light.

Luminii was honored to be a part of the historic project. We teamed up with our friends at Morlights to deliver a truly exclusive experience to BIÂN’s guests with a brilliant architecture and lighting design.

Read our interview with Sean Murphy and Avi Mor from Morlights below to learn more about the extraordinary project. 

Editor’s note: Images are courtesy of Lambros Photography. Interior design by StudioK.

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Q. Tell us about BIÂN.

BIÂN opened in Chicago in 2020. Located inside the former Montgomery Ward warehouse building at 600 W. Chicago Avenue, the concept is a unique members-only wellness club offering healing techniques physically, mentally, and holistically. BIÂN reimagines wellness.

BIÂN set out to create an entire ecosystem of wellness amenities across more than 21,000 square feet of beautifully architected space offering traditional fitness options, cosmetic and therapeutic treatments, medical testing tied to well-being, and so much more. To achieve its goals, BIÂN required lighting that supported its dedication to health and wellness.

How did the project begin?

At our very first meeting, the interior designer, Karen Herold, said, “I don’t want to see the lights, I just want it to be illuminated.” Enter Luminii, with a wide range of shapes, sizes, and installation options. We worked alongside the rest of the project team to make the idea come to life!

Which Luminii products did you use across BIÂN’s spaces?

Luminii’s mCove was used in the large open spaces to line the concrete structure and discreetly illuminate the ceilings, as if by magic.

The Bosca Graze was utilized with hidden clips to illuminate vertical surfaces when the fixtures were visible. Kendo Graze, with its tighter optics, was used where the fixtures were hidden in the drapery valance.

Combining the STP (super tight pitch) series LED tape with the Kendo Small created an ideal accent fixture around the mirrors in the yoga studio and fitness areas, providing enough performance to create a halo in a daylit space, while eliminating dotting and showing a consistent line of illumination when viewed directly.

Luminii’s Tunable White LEDs lend warmth and intimacy to the bar feature wall at night, but stand up to strong daylight the rest of the time.

Kurba flexible LED products were used in the spa treatment areas to ground the illumination and create a soft glow for relaxation.

In addition, Kendo Small Wet was used on the exterior at the entry and in the showers at the spa locker rooms while the Luminii LL Tube Wet was used in an extrusion without a lens to avoid trapped moisture in the steam rooms.

What was the inspiration behind the lighting design?

The space has so many different uses that call for various aesthetics to create the proper ambiance. We wanted to ensure the lighting was functional. 

Luminii’s products with their DALI controlled drivers allowed Morlights to use lumen packages high enough to stand up to daylight, then dim, flicker-free, to almost nothing at night when calm and relaxation become the task.

Coves, toe-kicks, and die walls throughout benefit from Kendo Medium in both surface mount and recessed extrusions – and sometimes no extrusion at all.