During much of its 50-plus-year history, Hodgdon, a gunpowder manufacturer, has operated out of three World War II–era Quonset huts in Herrington, Kan. The versatility of these column-free vaulted structures fits the company's needs nicely, but the facilities nonetheless were in dire need of an upgrade. The renovation by Kansas City, Mo.–based architectural firm El Dorado, with the lighting design overseen by Derek Porter Studio, takes a simple and clean approach, using light and color to accentuate the industrial purity of these prefabricated building systems.

On the interior, the designers integrated lighting and mechanical systems. Linear fluorescent T5HO striplights were positioned atop HVAC ducts running through the center of the space. From this perch, out of view from Hodgdon's employees, the fixtures cast light against the white-painted corrugated iron ceiling, creating a luminous canopy above the workstations that delivers an even distribution of light, free of shadow lines. T5 lamps equipped with custom translucent acrylic diffusers were also mounted to vertical surfaces in corridors, private offices, bathrooms, and conference areas. The designers paid special attention to the fixture placement to emphasize the compositional relationships of color, shifting planes, and texture.

A similar cost-effective solution was applied to the exterior canopy, which forms a covered circulation area between the three huts. Here, T5s are located within custom break-metal shields, uplighting the canopy's ceiling, providing diffuse illumination. Low-voltage halogen stake-mounted fixtures light spaces between the huts, maintaining a welcoming atmosphere for social gatherings during break periods at this 24-hour manufacturing facility.

Jury Comments
Denise Fong: Materials and light really come together in this project.
Mike Gehring: It's refreshing to see how an elegant lighting solution can play such an important role in the overall design of a common building use.
Sandra Stashik: The designers showed us how simple luminaires can enhance any architecture.

Manufacturers / Applications
B-K Lighting: 20W T3 halogen path lights
H.E. Williams: 3500K T5HO ministrip fluorescent lamps throughout