Launch Slideshow

The Sidwell Friends School Meeting House and Arts Center

The Sidwell Friends School Meeting House and Arts Center

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    Michael Moran Studio

    A view of the new building from the main campus.

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    Michael Moran Studio

    A view of the rear entrance. The illuminated ceiling surfaces reflect light onto the walls and display areas.

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    Michael Moran Studio

     In the Arts Center corridors, outward-facing  asymmetric covelights, angled according to the ceiling, illuminate lobby areas  and radiate toward the plaza.

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    Michael Moran Studio

    In the hallways, inward-facing fluorescent  covelights balance the outward glow of light. Concealed tracklighting is  designed to highlight student art and historical displays.

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    Michael Moran Studio

    The new Quaker Meeting Room was once the gym. The  space is articulated with a series of floating architectural planes that  modulate natural and electric light.

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    Michael Moran Studio

    Fixtures behind the scrim walls in the Quaker  Meeting Room mimic the glow of the clerestory windows behind.

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    Michael Moran Studio

    The east and west walls meet the ceiling and form large reveals. Additional rows of concealed fluorescents wash the surfaces where daylight can’t reach. Double-lamp asymmetric fixtures diffuse the light from the upper walls. The T5HOs provide 40 footcandles and achieve a 20 percent energy savings.

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    Michael Moran Studio

    When the electric lighting is needed in the Quaker  Meeting Room, it can be controlled independently to tailor the light according  to time of day and event requirements.

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    Drawing Courtesy of Arup.

    A section through the Quaker Meeting Room.

 

A Quaker institution, the Sidwell Friends School wanted to transform an old gymnasium into a meeting and worship space. The school hired architects KieranTimberlake to deliver a design that would embody the Quaker ideals of light and simplicity. The architects in turn worked with Arup to develop a lighting scheme that would balance daylight and electric light to create a pristine and spiritual environment.

The architecture consists of a series of flat, white planes cut with reveals and openings to create a sense of depth throughout the project. The lighting designers took advantage of these pockets in the planar surfaces to conceal the luminaires. In the hallways and lobby areas, angled asymmetric T5HO covelights complement the dropped ceiling panels, providing balanced interior illumination. PAR30 halogen tracklighting, also concealed within the cove, directs attention to student art that is displayed on the walls.

The lighting scheme for the Quaker meeting room, which is the building's largest space, centers around a skylight framed by floating ceiling planes. The large volume, once the gym, also features a clerestory and vertical window in one corner, which allows in additional daylight. T5HO fixtures integrated in the room's wall monitors give these apertures a presence at night. Additional T5HO fixtures concealed behind the scrim walls highlight the intersecting planes and cast light into the lower reaches of the room, where daylight can't extend.

Jury Comments: A lot of thought went into the articulation of the space and how it would be lit. • It's refreshingly simple, but it doesn't mean it isn't a complex lighting design.