Meet Nebula by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill


Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) teams with Italian lighting designer Neri to create a contemporary outdoor lighting collection for city streets, squares, and parks. SOM and high-end Italian lighting manufacturer Neri joined forces in 2019 with the ambition to create a lighting system that blends into any cityscape while enhancing the public realm with a contemporary and recognizable design. Manufactured in Italy, the series will go into production in July 2020.

“Our team of architects, lighting designers, and fabricators sought to design a collection of outdoor lights that meet the demands of almost any design brief from a performance and aesthetic perspective,” says Carlos Madrid III, who led the project on behalf of SOM. “While the family of lights appears as a finite system, it is quite malleable, similar to theatrical lighting, where each light source is independent and lights can be added, removed, focused in certain directions or at specific objects.”

The lights come in several scales, adding a modern twist to historical settings while blending into contemporary locations. Three primary elements—an illuminating bollard, path light, and full-height lighting system—are designed to seamlessly integrate a variety of accessories, from banner holders and planters to power sources.

The collection offers a spectrum of colors and finishes, including Neri gray, pure white, jet black, and moss green. In a nod to Venetian history and Neri’s home country, the series also comes in a translucent rose, the same hue used in the Murano glass of the city’s historic lanterns.

Neri has been producing lighting collections with an eye for modern design solutions and technology since 1962. Their work can be seen in most Italian cities and 60 countries worldwide, most prominently throughout Europe and the Middle East.

The Nebula collection continues SOM’s work in product design, which includes collaborations with Italian hardware company Valli & Valli on two sets of bespoke door handles, and American carpet manufacturer Milliken to create WAY, an environmentally friendly carpet line. The firm also designed Halcon MESA, a fully customizable conference table with integrated technology. Source and images Courtesy by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM).

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