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News + Insights

Flexible Lighting Powers Endless Creativity at LOOT Mexico

Paulo García-2LOOT is a multi-use space in the heart of Mexico City that serves as an art gallery, a performance theater, offices, retail space, a place for private events, a cafeteria, and a bar. The key to this space’s ever-morphing identity lies in its lighting design. To achieve the lighting needs of both commercial and creative activities in a single place, Paola Jose, owner of SOMBRA lighting design studio, took the groundbreaking step of specifying the first major Ketra lighting installationcontrolled by Athena, in Mexico. 

The white walls, ceiling, and floors of LOOT were designed to function as a blank canvas that artists can transform to complement their art. But because the space will also be used for commercial purposes, selecting the right lighting was trickier than most design projects. The typical specification of architectural lighting is typically not sufficient for artistic applications, while theatrical lighting doesn’t match the needs of a commercial environment. 

To ensure the space was as flexible and future-proof as possible, a variety of Ketra fixtures were installed throughout the space. A Lutron Athena control system ensures that the full power of Ketra’s tunable lighting technology was easy to deploy. The Athena Lighting Designer app puts the ability to easily create and execute the perfect lighting experience for every performance right in the palm of the artist’s hand. 

Light has power—it can affect what you see and how you feel. It can build tension or passion. With Ketra, Athena, and the Lighting Designer app, the system gives us the power to create whatever they want—sophisticated lighting scenes and sequences that perfectly complement different artistic visions. I didn’t know we could use an architectural lighting system to light a live performance, but we did.

Paola Jose
Lighting Designer, SOMBRA

This combination of technologies makes the lighting as flexible as the space itself, creating a nearly endless variety of custom lighting possibilities. Commercial activities can be lit with brightefficient light that promotes focus and well-being. For creative showcases, high-quality, drama-enhancing light can be effortlessly programmed—and reprogrammed— to complement the work that each new performer brings to the space.  

While the official opening of the space is set for Winter 2021, earlier this year LOOT hosted a professional contemporary dance performance entitled "Trazo". It was comprised of six different 15-minute pieces choreographed and performed by impressive talent. Before the performance, Paola Jose used the Lighting Designer app to tailor the lights for each piece, seeing how the lighting could enhance each performer's costumes, music, and choreography. For her professionally, it was an incredible moment of artistic collaboration, and the result was truly moving.

Paulo Garcia- 1

A performer dances in saturated blood-red light

I had never used technology like this before programming lighting scenes live in the space. Using the app to find the exact color we wanted to use and placing the light exactly where we wanted it to be moment by moment. We ended up creating lighting just like you would see in a theater or performance hall. It was beautiful and intense.

Paola Jose
Lighting Designer, SOMBRA

We can’t wait to be inspired by what comes next for LOOT and the artists that the space will host. Follow LOOT on Instagram to see this project’s vision when it comes to life. You can also visit our projects page to see how Ketra has sparked the imagination of other design professionals around the world.