Presented by the Designers Lighting Forum of New York

Rescheduled to August 18–19, 2020

New York Hilton Midtown, 1335 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10019

2020 PANEL DISCUSSION: How to Light Historic Interiors

PANEL DISCUSSION: How to Light Historic Interiors

Wednesday, March 18
2:30pm – 4:00pm
Room: Murray West

Case Study

Credits: 1.5 AIA LU

Lighting for historic spaces is more than replacing outmoded lighting technologies with LEDs. The designer can make a significant impact on how the architecture is read and how people interact with these spaces.

For the Manuscripts and Archives Renovation at the Yale Sterling Memorial Library, we increased the light levels, revealed architectural detailing that was heretofore unnoticed, and retained the historic character of a space without adding visible architectural fixtures to the rooms.

In the second project, Kips Bay Towers by I.M. Pei, we worked collaboratively with the architect and property managers to create solutions that struck the right balance between modernization and keeping the integrity of the original design, which had remained untouched since its construction in 1960.


  • How to keep the character of a space even though the function of the space may have changed.
  • How to weave new lighting solutions into a space that retains the character but improves the lighting output and/or quality.
  • How to work collaboratively with architects to achieve your goals.
  • How to use existing decorative fixtures and modify them to provide lighting that meets today’s expectations and still retain their original style and character.


Francesca Bettridge, Principal, Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design

Francesca Bettridge, President and Principal of Cline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design, contributes insight, creativity, and commitment to sustainable design to her projects. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with esteemed architects on award-winning national and international projects encompassing a wide range of types and styles.
Francesca’s project experience encompasses some of the world’s most iconic buildings. She worked on one of the first LEED projects, the William J. Clinton Presidential Center, as well as the world’s first LEED Platinum certified skyscrapers in both the USA and Europe – the Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park (New York City) and Torre Iberdrola (Bilbao, Spain).
She has been honored with over 110 lighting awards, including Lumen Awards of Excellence and Citations, A/L Magazine Outstanding Achievement Awards, Awards of Excellence and Citations, the Paul Waterbury Award of Distinction for Exterior Lighting, the GE Edison Award of Excellence, IALD Awards of Excellence and Awards of Merit, and IES Illumination Awards.
Francesca is a Fellow of the Illuminating Engineering Society (FIES) and has served on the Board of Managers and the Richard Kelly Scholarship Committee of the IES New York Section. She is a Professional Member and former Secretary of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) and is Lighting Certified by the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions. She currently serves on Architectural Lighting Magazine’s Advisory Board.
She has been a keynote speaker at international lighting conferences: twice at Expo Lighting America in Mexico City; at the Lighting Days event in Stockholm; and at LightFair International in San Diego.
A graduate of Barnard, Francesca studied at Parsons The New School for Design and the Open Atelier of Design, which she co-founded. She has taught at Fashion Institute of Technology and at Parsons The New School for Design.

J. Bunton, Partner, Apicella + Bunton Architects

J Bunton is a founder of Apicella + Bunton Architects located in New Haven, Connecticut. J has over 30 years of professional experience. He is involved in all aspects of the practice, collaborating on the design and management of each project the firm undertakes. He is particularly interested in the transformative power of light in architecture and its ability to shape and enhance perceptions of space. Prior to Apicella + Bunton, J was a Senior Associate at Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects for 15 years. During his time with the firm, he gained substantial experience working with institutional clients and designing many high profile academic buildings, cultural centers and libraries. He also led the design for some of the firm’s most notable performing arts commissions including the Segerstrom Concert Hall and Samueli Theater and the renovation of the South Coast Repertory. More recent projects include the Manuscripts & Archives Library, the Digital Humanities Laboratory, and the Sterling Hall of Medicine Library, all located at Yale University. J received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. Mr. Bunton is a registered architect in Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects and serves regularly as a critic at the Yale School of Architecture and Yale School of Drama.

Philip Koether, AIA, Principal, Philip Koether Architects PLLC

Philip is a practicing architect, critic, essayist, author, and educator living in New York City. He founded Philip Koether Architects PLLC in 1994 with new construction and renovation of both private and multi-unit residential, hospitality, and cultural buildings and interiors. He is currently renovating I.M. Pei’s 1960 Kips Bay Towers and reconstructing the Civil War ironclad, “USS Monitor,” as a ship museum in Bushwick Inlet, Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Prior to establishing his firm, Philip worked eleven years in the office of Cesar Pelli & Associates (Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, today), with significant contributions to the Pacific Design Center (LA), Carnegie Hall Tower (NY), Society Tower (Key Tower today, Cleveland), and Reagan National Airport (Washington, D.C.)

Born in Denver, Colorado in 1956, Philip received a B.A. from Middlebury College, triple-majoring in Russian Language, Studio Art, and Art History. He then interned at The Metropolitan Museum of Art while simultaneously working both as an art critic and artist. Philip subsequently spent a year at the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS, NY) in Peter Eisenman’s studio while photo-editing all books by Aldo Rossi published by the Institute. In 1983, he received his professional M. Arch. degree from the Yale School of Architecture, studios with the late King-lui Wu, M.J. Long, and Frank Gehry. Known for collaborative integration of art in architecture, he’s a frequent contributor to exhibition catalogs – most recently for the Victoria and Albert Museum (London). Philip is an adjunct professor at Parsons School of Design | School of Constructed Environments (NY).