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Salt Lake City, UT

The new Eccles Theater has become Salt Lake City’s premier entertainment venue. The lighting is a unifying element that organizes the performance center’s design and imparts a welcoming street presence.

Decorative fixtures used at the exterior soffits and ceilings define these surfaces and extend inside the building. Lighting the lobby’s back wall blurs the solidity of the curtain wall and offers an inviting interior glow. The bright, welcoming six-story atrium features large, decorative pendants that add sparkle and visual interest.

The theater’s lighting meets the architect’s challenge of bringing the dramatic landscape surrounding the city, indoors. The lighting of the performance hall’s evenly washed perimeter walls calls to mind the striated mountains, while the shimmering ceiling evokes the vast Utah night sky. To create the starry ceiling, LED strings are stretched across frames and arranged in two offset layers. A complex dimming scheme, coupled with the physical distance between the lighting layers and the differently-sized LEDs, creates a sense of depth.

The architecture sets the stage, and the lighting completes the picture: a grand amphitheater under a starry night sky, nestled among the mountains.


  • Lumen Citation

  • A/L Light & Architecture Commendable Achievement Award

  • IES Illumination Award of Merit


Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; HKS Architects, Inc.


Jeff Goldberg/Esto; iLight Technologies; Jack E. Madsen III Architectural Photography