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Ray Grenald

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Name  Ray Grenald

Ray Grenald Ray Grenald MONDO ARC

Ray Grenald (born 1928) is a significant architectural lighting designer in the United States in the second half of the 20th and early 21st centuries.



Grenald was born in 1928 in Louisville, Kentucky as Raymond Greenwald. He attended DuPont Manual High School, graduating in two-and-a-half years rather than the usual four. He then attended the University of Cincinnati until he enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1946. At the conclusion of his army service, he attended Washington State University on the GI Bill, majoring in Aeronautical Engineering. He worked for Boeing in that capacity, and also served in the Army during the Korean War era. He then returned to school to get a degree in Architecture at the University of Washington.


Following graduation, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and became a practicing architect for the next 14 years. In that capacity, he won international recognition for his lighting designs, and in 1968 opened his own firm specializing in architectural lighting design. The move would make him one of the founding members of a new profession. He also became one of the founders of the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) in 1969. During his career he has served as president of the IALD and is currently on the board of directors for the National Lighting Research Organization.

A long-time observer of people's cultural habits, Grenald's conversations are packed with recollections of the places he's visited and the spaces he's experienced and designed, and the phenomenon of how people see. He was elected to the College of Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1985, is a founder and past president of the IALD, and has chaired the IES's national committee on museum and art lighting. Long active in professional education, Grenald has served as a faculty member or visiting lecturer at more than a dozen major universities, including the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Yale University, the University of Southern California, and the Moore College of Art, and has been a board member of the Lighting Research Institute.

Lighting design firm

Grenald founded his own lighting design firm, Grenald Associates, in Philadelphia in 1968. In 1994, it became Grenald-Waldron Associates with the elevation of Lee Waldron to partner.


  • IALD 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award
  • Fellow, American Institute of Architects
  • Fellow, International Association of Lighting Designers
  • Fellow, Illuminating Engineering Society
  • Projects of note

  • Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
  • Grenald redesigned the entire system, using lamp color and distribution characteristics to render the cave's scale and depth. Lighting intensity was gradually reduced so visitors could adapt to the Cavern's lower levels, while lamp color brought out the natural contrasts of the stone walls. Lighting was used to alternately reinforce the immense scale of the caverns and highlight the restrictions of space.

  • Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.
  • Relit the thoroughfare stretching from the Capitol to the White House as part of a project from 1976 to 1996, sponsored by The Pennsylvania Avenue Development Corporation. The lighting worked to bring out the significance of the boulevard that could be enjoyed by tourists and become an important destination for tourists and locals alike.

  • Boathouse Row, Philadelphia
  • Created evening lighting to bring out the beauty of the Victorian-era boathouses and their reflection on the Schuylkill River. The site, once slated for destruction, is now an important Philadelphia landmark.

  • Locust Walk, University of Pennsylvania
  • An important component of the University of Pennsylvania's master plan to illuminate the campus at night and make it a safe and attractive destination for students. It also involves lighting the architecturally important Furness Building

  • Liberty Bell Pavilion, Philadelphia
  • This building has housed the Liberty Bell since 2004, and Grenald headed the team that designed the museum's exterior and interior areas.

  • Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
  • An important building designed by Frank Furness, Grenald designed lighting during the building's centennial to bring out the beauty of Furness's original designs and enhance the use of the space as a museum and school.

  • The White House, Washington, D.C.
  • Relit the Oval Office and many areas of the West Wing.


    Ray Grenald Wikipedia