The Project Team at the Brooklyn Marriott had a unique request – purchasing a new set of crystal grand chandeliers for their ballroom without replacing the existing electrical work from their previous installation. This request would greatly reduce the client’s costs by eliminating the need to hire and coordinate with union electricians, which is an expected expense when typically installing a chandelier.
After some deliberation on our end, PTY Custom Lighting approached the Marriott team with a proposal that involved constructing retrofit cages that would be mounted onto the existing framework and lights. The idea was well received; however, there would be a number of challenges to overcome.
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From Concept To Creation
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
Thanks to our talented design team, we moved ahead with the task of designing and constructing the retrofit cages. Our goal was to create a cage that would not only fit over the old chandeliers but also bring a fresh, practical look to the space. By avoiding the need for electrical work with this design, we completely bypassed the need for electrical work during the installation process, which saved time and costs related to the installation project. As a result the project was able to come in on budget and meet the strict deadline put forth by the Marriott team.
CRAFTING THE PEG
With an unconventional job such as this, detail was paramount. Working together with the design team and ownership, we requested and took account of every single element and measurement of the space and existing chandeliers. PTY’s top designers calculated the necessary reflective properties to ensure that no radiance was lost in the retrofit process. After carefully selecting an optimal crystal style and design approach, we conferred with the Marriott team once more and began the process of drafting shop drawings that would serve as the foundation for the project. Passing our drawing through multiple draft phases in collaboration with the Marriott design team, we fabricated our first samples and were ready for testing.
THREADING THE NEEDLE
All the planning and preparation in the world pales in comparison to a trial run and final installation. Aware of the pitfalls that can befall even the best designers, PTY insisted on fabricating and sending a sample to the build site for on-site testing of the retrofit cage. We provided partial samples of the main chandelier, as well as complete samples of the replacement wall sconce and its’ crystal dressing. From there, we gathered all the stakeholders involved on the project (PTY Custom Lighting, Benjamin West, Krause and Sawyer), to evaluate the results of the test. Thanks to the feedback from our clients, PTY Custom Lighting was able to make the final necessary adjustments and revisions before moving ahead to fabrication.
The Finishing Touch
With our revised specifications and notes from the on-site test of the retrofit frames, we moved forward into production stage of the project.
The final design approved upon resulted in a large metal frame donning very large hanging crystals, that would fit around and over the previous fixture. Due to the size and complexity of the fixture, we took special care in measuring the precise lengths of each strip of metal while simultaneously fortifying them to hold the large hanging crystals that the chandelier would be dressed with.
Because this is a retrofit rather than your typical installation, the fixtures were built with the installation process in mind. We shipped the frame in segments that could be fit onto the old chandelier section by section, while also creating a detailed installation guide that detailed the precise method as to which new chandeliers were designed to be installed with. This greatly eased and streamlined the installer’s job on-site. Once the fixture was received, we sent one of our in-house experts to oversee the installation and assist with any and all difficulties that may have occurred.
THE FINAL TOUCH
First, we would need to ensure the retrofit cage would fit onto the existing electrical framework and the dressing could fully take advantage of the type of existing lighting.
Second, we would need to capture precise specifications of the existing chandeliers so as to determine the size of the frame we potentially design. Afterward, the Brooklyn Marriott team provided us with the existing lighting
Finally, with all the information and measurements in hand, a scope of work is created. During this phase, our team decides the type of crystals that will adorn the finished frame. If poorly chosen, it could potentially result in a crystal dressing that can’t fully utilize the available lighting and thus look lackluster as the finished product.
THE PROCESS & OUR PATH TO SUCCESS
01. ANALYSIS & ENGINEERING
Reviewing the pertinent information we set forth planning the most design-minded and cost-effective approach. Engineering of the fixtures had the aesthetics, function and the installation process as a priority.
02. DETAILED DESIGN
After careful consideration, our designers crafted production drawings, down to the fine details. The drawings were crafted and then reviewed by the onsite engineers, electricians and designers on the project.
Once the design drawings were created and approved, our team quickly moved into fabricating the first retrofit cages, to install and examine onsite. With a few slight revisions, we were ready for full production.
With testing now completed, manufacturing proceeded, including the producing of the retrofit cages for the grand chandeliers, matching wall sconces clusters surrounding the room and the crystal dressing for each.
Due to the complexity of the installation, our staff helped guide other site installers along the way with detailed installation instructions, well packaged and organized parts, weekly team conferences and frequent site visits to ensure success.