The new 12,000-square-foot addition to the Stapleton Library on Staten Island is a luminous rectangular box that flowed easily from the previous structure.
Public libraries have always played a civic role, serving both as communal gathering spaces and as vehicles for providing free access to information for all. That dual service, and the responsibility that comes with it, has never been more important as society completes it transitions to the digital age. Libraries around the United States need to continue to be that place where anyone can go to check out the latest book, use reference materials, and take his or her kids to story hour. But today’s libraries also have to provide computer stations that have Internet access and all types of media in digital formats.
The village of Stapleton on the south shore of the New York City borough of Staten Island is one community that understands the importance of having a library as a public amenity—and what it means when that resource is in jeopardy.
The lighting scheme designed by CBBLD Lighting Design captures the essence of the architecture both in its form and in its material sensibility. CBBLD challenged themselves to see if they could find a single lamp type that could meet the needs of the entire project. “We went around the building looking at what needed to be lit and where we could put the light,” Bernstein says. The CBBLD team decided on a 4-foot T5 linear fluorescent suspended fixtures. (Since the project started in 2009, LED technology wasn’t yet at the forefront of luminaire offerings as it is today.) In the main reading room and community room, the decision translates into a 28W 3000K T5 linear fluorescent direct/indirect pendant that provides 25 foot candles. These luminaires are suspended from aircraft cable and align with the horizontal mullions of the windows and the vertical wood columns of the front curtainwall. The rectangular form of the fixtures complements the shape of the Douglas fir ceiling beams and the fixture’s datum of light becomes another architectural feature. “There isn’t much reliance on over-decoration,” Bernstein says. “The decoration is the palette of materials that were being used. Our lighting had to respond to that, and in its own way had to be an architectural element within the space.”
David Hakimi is a lighting consultant and co-founder of Alcon Lighting. The UCLA graduate works to achieve energy-efficient lighting, enabling architects, designers and lighting engineers to upgrade from outmoded lighting. David takes particular pride in Alcon’s design, energy and building knowledge, tracing his and Alcon’s commitment to quality, innovation, accountability and value to lessons learned from his father, a Southern California lighting salesman and consultant for more than two decades. Passionate about protecting the environment, David is especially adept in assuring that each client and customer meets both rapidly-changing building codes and project goals.
The term Architectural Lighting encompasses three main factors. The first is the building’s aesthetic, which is crucial for any commercial, especially retail, environment. The second consideration is ergonomic or functional — any aspect which improves one’s ability to live, work, function, relax or play — to make the space easier to use. The third aspect involves the efficiency of energy, ensuring that light is properly, which is to say economically or optimally, used and distributed.
If the work of lighting design was just left to services engineers to meet regulation-determined illuminance criteria per application, then interior and exterior architectural spaces would become soulless environments. Using qualitative measurements, architects and lighting designers can make sure the architectural intention and aesthetic character of a space is not compromised.
The science of measuring light, photometry, specifically applies to light in a space. Photometrics gauges how humans perceive light — its coverage area, where light cuts off and the intensity of light in relation to distance from the light source. In practical terms, photometrics shows whether a lighting plan meets the qualitative and quantitative lighting requirements for a project.
Products can demand attention with the help of proper lighting. This means an open floor plan with tactical attention to lighting fixture placement, brightness, color temperature, and CRI. The ability of LED Lighting to meet these technical requirements is what makes it the #1 choice of lighting designers and architects.
At Alcon Lighting’s LA headquarters, co-founder David Hakimi adopted a 12 year-old dog named Nano and decided to bring him into the office every day. Let’s just say it garnered some attention. It quickly became clear that Nano, who’s now 14 years old, relishes a long nap. Nano likes to hop and curl up in an easy chair, resting his head on the arm, drifting into slumber. In fact, David says this is Nano’s favorite activity.