Beauty was not sacrificed for practicality in the renovation of San Francisco City Hall, originally designed by architect Bakewell & Brown in 1912. In order to achieve appropriate color on the exterior, improve lamp life and lower the city's energy use, San Francisco's Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design developed a lighting scheme to accentuate the grand Beaux Arts architecture using 188 metal-halide lamps. The lamps give the same output as incandescents for about one-third of the energy costs with about 13 times the lamp life.
Principal Angela McDonald also chose the lamps because, she says, "We were looking to accomplish different things with one lamp-soft washes, grazing light and spotlighting-to bring out architectural details. In the lamp we had the beam control we needed to effectively bring together all the different parts of the design. We were also looking for a lamp color to correspond with the incandescent light from historic lampposts at ground level and the incandescent light washing the façades of adjacent buildings."
Philips Lighting Co.