Launch Slideshow

Lumen United Reform Church and Community Center

Lumen United Reform Church and Community Center

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    External view of the Church at dusk from Regent Square. The sanctuary space is illuminated by both direct and indirect lighting elements.

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    The stained glass window and East Community room beyond as seen from the garden. The community rooms use direct linear fluorescent and linear fluorescent cove lighting. The indirect lighting of the cove creates an architectural connection between the community rooms and the garden. The use of indirect lighting continues in the garden under the benches and in the bench alcoves providing subtle lighting to the garden seating. In the summertime, the community rooms can be opened into the garden creating one continuous space.

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    View from the garden into the West community room. The community rooms use direct linear fluorescent and linear fluorescent cove lighting.

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    View of the sanctuary from the altar. The sanctuary is illuminated indirectly with perimeter linear fluorescent fixtures mounted on the wall. The simple switching between direct and indirect lighting, and the separation of the switching between the caf?? and worship spaces, gives the congregation three 'scenes' for different activities, such as worship, classes, day care, and concerts. Linear fluorescent is used throughout the project to achieve an efficient lighting solution that is also low maintenance and low energy. The sanctuary's dark ceiling was painted white, as were all the wall surfaces, to maximize the use of daylight and minimize the need for supplementary electric lighting during the day.

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    View from the caf?? to the entrance. The linear fluorescent direct/indirect lighting system is integrated into the architecture between the structural concrete columns. The fixtures create a datum at the architectural openings between the central sanctuary spaces and the entrance, community rooms, and cafe.

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    View from the worship space into the East community room and garden beyond. Skylights and glazing in the East and West community rooms maximize the use of daylight for daytime functions.

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    Lighting plan and sections through the Sanctuary.

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    Lighting and mounting details of the custom linear fluorescent luminaire.

The Lumen United Reform Church in London is not your typical place of worship. Serving a diverse neighborhood, Lumen invites people of all faiths to come together for prayer and community activities. With the recent modernization of their 1960s-era facility, the church asked Theis and Khan Architects to add a new chapel, rooms for classes and events, and a new street-front café. George Sexton Associates' (GSA) simple, yet versatile, lighting scheme was integral in setting distinct atmospheres for these disparate functions and spaces.

Most of GSA's design is powered by custom direct-indirect linear fluorescent luminaires. Outfitted with 45W and 80W T5 lamps tuned to a color temperature of 3500K, the fixtures are applied in different ways to meet the needs of the given spaces. The choice of fluorescent met the project brief of providing functional lighting on a tight budget while meeting low energy usage goals. GSA's careful integration of the lighting into the architecture and clever use of switching assured that the solution wanted for nothing in terms of elegance.

The main worship space and café, which share the same volume, were set on separate controls. The direct and indirect uplight components of the luminaires can be switched separately to give the space three distinct lighting scenes. The fixtures were also integrated into the café's concrete columns, elevating the path from the entrance to the worship space into a procession. The community rooms—which will see a diversity of uses such as yoga, day care, and salsa classes—were outfitted with cove and recessed lights. GSA also applied this indirect lighting concept in the garden, discretely placing fixtures in alcoves and benches.

Jury Comments
Jim Baney: Light is used as a building material and reveals the form of the architecture.
Denise Fong: Humble in its approach, the lighting design emphasizes the structure without calling attention to itself. The lighting is elegantly integrated.
Mike Gehring: A simple, clean, elegant space.

Manufacturers / Applications
Agabekov: Xenon clickstrip covelights in garden alcoves and under garden benches
Concord: Bulkhead fittings in public areas
Regent: Custom direct/indirect T5HO linear fluorescent fixtures in Sanctuary
Reggiani: Surface-mounted compact fluorescent downlights at entry and linear fluorescent covelight in gallery corridor
GE: T5HO 54W and 80W lamps throughout