A View On Wright

Toshiko Mori and Arup lighting fashion a respectfully glowing visitor center for frank Lloyd Wright's Darwin D. Martin house.

The pavilion’s structure—an inverted hipped roof—speaks to the architectural geometries of the Martin House, and allowed Mori to design a long, open space free of structural obstructions, save for the four columns that support the roof and frame a large rectangular skylight that delivers natural light to the center of the space. The ceiling plane is kept clear of light fi xtures so that it can function as a giant reflector. The ceiling’s luminous properties are most apparent at night when the light from the 39W inground metal halide uplights—located along the perimeter of the pavilion at the base of the curtain wall—bounces off the surface and the entire plane glows. T5 linear fluorescent fixtures hidden in the top of the concrete core (which houses back-of-house support spaces) on the west elevation provide additional uplighting. LED striplights in the exhibit display cases add a hint of accent light. ELLIPTIPAR COVELIGHT (STYLE 305) This asymmetrical T5 kit delivers precise optical control for superb projection of light from perimeter coves. It is compatible with 28W T5 and 55W T5HO lamps in 2-, 3-, 4-, or 5-foot lengths. At 2 5/8 inches high, it can fit within the narrowest coves, while its two bright, anodized aluminum parabolic reflectors drive light across any surface, minimizing glare and maximizing efficiency. Placed atop the concrete core of the Martin House Visitor Center, this luminaire picks up where the inground uplights leave off for an uninterrupted wash of light across the ceiling. elliptipar.com WE-EF INGROUND UPLIGHT (MODEL 611-3050) With its 39W ceramic metal halide lamp, this flush-mounted inground uplight is ideal for applications, indoors or out, where precise beam control is required. It features a “no-tool” removable lamp-ballast-reflector module for easy maintenance, a sturdy stainless-steel body and lens frame in a brushed finish, and clear tempered glass lens for walk- and drive-over applications. Measuring 9.8 inches in diameter at surface grade, 14 3/4 inches is needed for inground depth. At the Martin House Visitor Center the luminaires were located in a perimeter trench and outfitted with two different lenses—one six degrees and the other 20 degrees—and two different reflectors—wide and medium beam—to achieve an even distribution of light across the ceiling plane. weef.de

As seen in a cross section of the building, Arup Lighting’s extensive solar analysis aided the team in maximizing the slope of the pavilion’s inverted hipped-roof structure, height of the glass curtain wall, and reflectance characteristics of the material finishes to create a thoroughly luminous space, even on overcast days.

Transparency and light are the architectural motifs employed by architect Toshiko Mori in her design for the new visitor center at the Darwin D. Martin House Complex in Buffalo, N.Y. A study in contrasts that responds to the original Frank Lloyd Wright masonry structure, the new pavilion makes use of natural light as its principal source of illumination by day.

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