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Hervé Descottes established the lighting design and consulting firm L’Observatoire International in New York City in 1993 after eight years of design practice in Paris, France. Descottes personally creates the lighting concepts for all projects designed by L’Observatoire International, and oversees project development through project completion. He is the author of Ultimate Lighting Design (teNeues, 2005) and co-authored Architectural Lighting, Designing with Light and Space (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011) with Cecilia E. Ramos.

The design team at L’Observatoire International works at the architectural, urban and landscape scale, investigating how lighting can best be employed to reveal scope, space and form, and using the best technology to achieve a functional, creative, and environmental result.

The team is composed of an international array of professional lighting designers, architects, interior designers, visual artists and graphic designers. Under the direction of Mr. Descottes, the team works worldwide on a variety of public and private projects, including museums, cityscapes, landscapes, commercial spaces, hotels, restaurants and residential houses, with architects such as Steven Holl, Frank Gehry, Richard Meier, Jean Nouvel, firms such as Arquitectonica, and artists such as James Turrell, Jenny Holzer, Marc Couturier and Vito Acconci.


  • 2012 -- Lumen Award of Merit for Cite du Surf et de l'Ocean (Biarritz, France) and The High Line: Section 2 (New York, NY)
  • 2011 -- Wan Awards, Retail Interior Award for RDAI's Hermes Store (Paris, France)[1]; Municipal Arts Society's Masterworks Award for Best Restoration for the Queens Theater (Queens, NY)[2]
  • 2010 -- World Architecture News Award in Civic Building Category for the New York Korea Cultural Center (New York, NY)[3]; IES Illuminations Award of Merit for Newtown Creek Waste Water Pollution Treatment Plant (New York, NY), The High Line (New York, NY), and Lincoln Center Redevelopment: Alice Tully Hall and the Julliard School (New York, NY); Best Redesign awarded by The Municipal Art Society of New York for Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center (New York, NY)[4]; Lumen Award of Merit for the lighting design of a private residence (Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia)[5]
  • 2009 -- Commendable Achievement, Exterior Lighting from Architectural Lighting Magazine’s Sixth Annual Light and Architecture Design Awards for Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant (Brooklyn, NY), ASLA Design Excellence Award for Buffalo Bayou: Sabine to Bagby Promenade (Houston, TX)[6]
  • 2008 -- Principal Hervé Descottes was named Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Minister of Culture; Yellow Pencil Award from the British Design and Art Direction (D & AD) in the environmental/installation design category for the Pink Project (New Orleans, LA); Award of Merit from the American Institute of Architects (AIA) for Theory World Headquarters and Retail Flagship (New York, NY)
  • 2006 -- General Design Award of Honor from ASLA (America Society of Landscape Architects) for Columbus Circle (New York NY)
  • 2003 -- Award for Collaborative Achievement in Design from the American Institute of Architects (AIA), Award for Excellence in Design from the Art Commission of New York for the exterior lighting of P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center (Long Island City, NY)


  1. Ultimate Lighting Design (teNeues, 2005)
  1. Architectural Lighting, Designing with Light and Space co-authored with Cecilia E. Ramos (Princeton Architectural Press, 2011)


This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Hervé Descottes, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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