1998 – 2001 | Washington DC, USA

Solar Light Pipe

The Solar Light Pipe makes the rhythm of the day and seasons perceptible by reflecting the changing light conditions within the building itself.

The Solar Light Pipe is a Carpenter / Norris project, which introduces daylight deep into the building through its tall and narrow atrium, making shifting diurnal and seasonal lighting patterns visible to the employees on all twelve floors.

A rooftop heliostat (computer-controlled, powered mirror) tracks the sun and re-directs light down the middle of the 36m long Solar Light Pipe. Its tapering internal cone of prismatic glass and an external diffuser of stretch fabric effectively introduce daylight deep within the office plan. The structure is suspended from the roof and fixed by cables at regular intervals to the side façades.

When the sky is overcast, artificial light from spotlights on the roof is reflected into the pipe and at night, lights of changing colour temperature lend the column a sculptural character.

The ‘Solar light Pipe’ received the IES – Illuminating Engineering Society Award in 2002.




Image: Raimund Koch


Image: Raimund Koch


Morgan Lewis Law Offices, Washington DC, USA

Lead Design

Carpenter / Norris


Morgan Lewis Law Offices Washington DC, USA


Studios Architecture – Washington, DC, USA (Building Architect)


1998 - 2001


Illuminating Engineering
Society Award 2002