Studio of the month
Our favourite studio this month is Available Light who are based in Boston, USA. Below, we have featured 4 different projects. Click through through the slide show to see how their lighting design brings different spaces to life. Not only are the aesthetics of the space and building considered, but the functionality also takes priority with a balance of 'play of light'.
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Muzeiko, the Children’s Museum of Sofia, represents the power of teamwork in realising a vision to build the first children’s museum in Bulgaria. A true collaboration between American and Bulgarian firms, the project spanned many years before opening in 2015 to much excitement throughout the country and abroad.
Muzeiko was awarded the 2015 Bulgarian Building of the Year in Education/Infrastructure category. The exhibits transition through time and space, from archaeology play & discovery on the basement floor, to nature & science in our present day on the ground floor, to new technologies & space travel on the upper level. Throughout, children are learning via interactive and immersive exhibits, each of which required thoughtful lighting to evoke just the right atmosphere.
On the basement floor, shadows play throughout to place the child directly in the cave they are excavating; the technology areas, on the other hand, called for colored lighting to play with the futuristic feel. Lighting around video screens and projections required special attention to ensure a lack of glare. The Rube-Goldberg Tree, running vertically in an atrium space from basement to roof, was lit to evoke the whimsy and excitement surrounding the museum’s mission.
Striving to connect the community at large with educational play – that’s the goal of the new DoSeum in San Antonio TX. The $47 million, 104,000-square foot project boasts 6 large exhibit areas and 2 traveling exhibit spaces across 3 buildings, with 5.5 acres of land and a visible water recirculation system. All this is more than enough to foster the “doing” environment of the DoSeum and the project has been highly praised since its opening in June 2015.
To complement architect design details, colored lights were placed where they would echo lighting shade coloring. Each exhibit combines high- and low-tech interactives, from GoogleMaps and animation technology to hands-on lighting elements and a miniaturized town, providing ample opportunities for unique lighting elements, including lasers, blacklights, and fiber optic lighting. In one room, colored LED wave lights and animation discs blend to mimic water, allowing children to explore the deep sea, then magically converts to a grassy summer lawn, then into a punishing Mars landscape, all at a touch of a button.
The Spy Academy required careful details, including framing projectors shining through grids on climbable vents to dramatize the children’s experience. Throughout the museum, fixtures required careful focusing to blend the high- and low-tech features of each exhibit, minimizing screen or camera glare and enhancing the hands-on experience for every visitor.
Available Light were also involved in the Meditech Corporate Headquarter project.
The office building renovation required both artistry and knowledge of how to light office spaces for employee happiness and productivity
Downlights in the lobby combine with daylight to provide a welcoming atmosphere, and grazing along the walls highlight super-graphics. In office spaces, a continuous line of recessed light runs along the ceiling, a unique detail providing ample light for all employees. The conference area seats 550 and was created in the round.
A track grid was developed to adequately house color LED downlights, and the lighting system was programmed so users can easily set the scene they wish. Lighting details in the stairs make sure users can use them in the dark while still remaining unobtrusive.
The RSA Booth at the RSA Conference 2016 was an attraction in and of itself. A dynamic lighting sequence was projected onto angular fabric-covered steel frame structures.
This immersive son et lumiere show ran several times an hour. Synchronization of the lighting shifts and dynamic music required hours of nuanced timing programming and the ability to visualize the music while adjusting the lighting.