Ascendant-studios

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Architect

Jeff Alan Gard

Location

Marin County, California

Date of completion

November 2022

Designer

California-based architect Jeff Alan Gard.

Lighting in the Ascendent Studios lobby includes a wall-mounted task light by the reception space

What was the lighting challenge?

After 26 years in the games industry—working on brands such as Lord of the Rings and 007 James Bond—CEO and founder Bret Robbins started Ascendant Studios in 2018 with the goal to foster an “unpretentious studio culture” of gaming.

“The lighting challenge was to create an environment that’s technically serious and supportive while including social gaming and communal kickback spaces,” architect Jeff Alan Gard said. “The building was a freestanding bank in an earlier life. Needs for banking and needs for video game production are very different.”

Gard noted that technological advances and efficiency required a full pullback of electrical, lighting and communication systems for a restart. “A company developing video games is a complex operation,” he explained. “Within the one company, there’s sound engineering, video and art direction, producers, programmers—all united by the commitment to gaming.”

Overhead surface-mount LED lights and linear pendant lighting shown in common areas at Ascendent Studios.

What was the lighting design goal for this project?

Gard said: “To tune lighting for even workspace with tuning options for sound, production, coding and cinematic design teams, which all have unique lighting requirements.”

Black linear suspension light fixtures at Ascendent Studios offer tunable-white lighting, allowing teams and workers to tailor the lighting in their space to meet their needs.

Which lights did you use and why?

Gard determined that Ascendant Studios needed a single modular fixture that could stand alone or link—lighting that could be tuned during installation for direct, indirect up or down light and color temperature. “With [Alcon Lighting’s] 12180-4-BK, we could set the fixture at move-in, then work with teams in various locations to [fine] tune each fixture, and, even better, show them how to tune the lights moving forward using the simple slide settings on each fixture. I used the 12180-4-BK in a number of locations throughout the spaces.”

In addition, Gard used 11703 to introduce non-overhead and background lights for select wall lights in circulation spaces and privacy rooms. One of the common areas includes a two-story wall for a heroic game banner graphic. 11703 in black features a rotating signage lighting head with an adjustable angle head, which affords flexibility for various banner lengths and game character artwork.

12180 LED Field-Tunable Architectural Pendant Light

Our linear pendant LED light is designed for commercial and residential lighting interiors. This commercial-grade product provides up to 3500 lumens of downlight and 1500 lumens of uplight. It also offers individual color temperature switching from 3000K, 3500K & 4000K both up and downlight.

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Tunable-white linear suspension light fixtures in common spaces also allow occupants in spaces like kitchen areas to create a more relaxing environment

“With [Alcon Lighting’s] 12180-4-BK, we could set the fixture at move-in, then work with teams in various locations to [fine] tune each fixture, and, even better, show them how to tune the lights moving forward using the simple slide settings on each fixture. I used the Alcon 12180-4-BK in a number of locations throughout the spaces.”

What was the overall goal of the space—and how did you go about achieving the client's vision?

The goal, Gard said, was to integrate tunable lighting—coupled with automatic control sensors in daylight zones for energy efficiency—throughout the space.

He also sought to create color temperature control zones for work pods to support precision lighting in certain areas, flexible meeting area lighting controls in shared spaces and mood or background lighting for on-screen game play calibration. Music and sound engineering teams required lighting that supports isolation from all other areas. Motion capture space required a well-lit space for actors and martial artists.

Color-tunable lighting products have controls that adjust the color of interior lighting to match the changes in daylight color temperature throughout the day. For example, the user can set the LED light fixture to follow the sun’s natural east-to-west cycle or choose from standard presets (i.e., dawn, morning, midday, afternoon and evening).

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