This project is one section of AN‘s five-part feature on architectural lighting, "Sharing the Spotlight."
Daylighting is used throughout the building both to improve student experience and to conserve energy. Spaces like hallways, which in many schools are treated like an afterthought, here have generous natural light from clerestory windows, which also allow light to penetrate classrooms from the interior. Art and music rooms have floorto-ceiling glass windows, and all the classrooms have sensors to take advantage of the high levels of natural light and cut energy use. Each classroom has two or three layers of light: perimeter lighting, overhead or task lighting, and lighting along the teaching wall. Each layer of lighting can be adjusted individually. “It allows people to take control of the space. It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach,” Sills said. “Our work dovetails very well with John’s,” Sills said. “We try not to get fussy with elaborate fixtures, but we also don’t hide them. There’s no need to try to make something it’s not.”
Ronan used a similarly direct approach with the architecture. Concrete slabs and masonry walls are left unadorned and programmatic areas are clearly defined. The fundamentals of architecture, like those of a sound education, stand the test of time.