it seems there is a usual suspect behind many of dallas's respected architects. With his firm's doors only open for a short three years, designer Scott Oldner is quickly becoming the consultant of choice when it comes to lighting. In his spare time, he plays lead guitar with a local band and uses this outlet to inspire and influence his blossoming practice. 'It is harmony and dissonance that motivate people to dwell visually,' he says. 'We work to see that this is accomplished--especially in our residential work.' Recently, Oldner and his small band of lighting consultants (he has a staff of two) have completed two single-family residential projects in Dallas. One is a renovation of a mid-century modernist home, located on a wooded hillside in Kessler Park, the Dalton-Kehn residence. The other-the Sutherland residence--is a disciplined, new modern-style home by architect Lionel Morrison. The two projects are similar in several aspects: Both have ample glazing that dramatically reduces the burden on electric light during the day, allowing the lighting design to be efficient and minimal. 'We used very few sources as far as different lamp types in both homes, and no incandescent lights in either of them. It's halogen, mostly adjustable, allowing the lighting scheme to be clean and reducing the stock of spare lamps,' explains Oldner. Both projects are able to use primarily one lamp type by utilizing different lenses to adapt the lamps to a list of tasks.
The Dalton-Kehn residence is unique in the fact that all of the interior downlights are 50W MR16s. The use of the smaller lamps was warranted because of the lack of existing space between the gypsum board ceiling and the roof structure--5 inches, to be precise. The MR16s perform different jobs: with a frosted lens, they act as downlights; with a soft focus lens, as art lights; and with no lens, as dynamic accent lights. The fixtures are aligned in a grid that accentuates the longitudinal axis of the house, drawing the eye from the living room through the dining room to the kitchen beyond.
One light that is not an MR16 is a covelight, used to highlight a rugged tile wall behind the bathroom vanities. The covelight grazes the surface of the vanity wall bringing out its rich texture. Two MR16 downlights over each sink round out the design.
The Sutherland residence features a classic courtyard configuration centered on a pool. The home's layout is symmetrical with long, well-defined sight lines. The primary source is a dimmable 75W AR111 low-voltage tungsten lamp. The lighting works to accentuate the linear qualities of the design, defining implied datums and highlighting the vertical surfaces that act as their counterpoint. Halogen lamps allow the white walls to appear crisp and delineated. Luminaires are arrayed off the centerline of the corridors to demarcate and reinforce the dimensions of rooms, pathways, and corridors, without requiring the user to walk directly under the lights while traversing a path. Lutron's HomeWorks control system enables comprehensive dimming; it also allows preprogrammed settings for preferred sequences and scenarios, accessible by touching any of the control pads located in each room and at the home's entrance. One scheme for arrival, another that dims and turns off the lights when the user goes to bed--the number of programmed schemes is almost infinite.
A simple approach-with a controlled number of lamp types--both homes are excellent examples of how lighting can enhance and reinforce the architectural design. thomas j. trenolone
Dallas-based architect Thomas J. Trenolone practices with Laguarda.Low Architects. His work has been exhibited at the AIA National Convention and the 2000 Venice Biennale.