Architecture | Educational and Cultural Institutions |

Haynie Hall

Illinois State University | Chicago, IL | 2007

Lightswitch took the architect’s daylit rendering and created a night time scene with lighting on each of the architectural elements, greatly enhancing the structure and helping to “sell” the design to the client.

What It Was

Illinois State University wanted to give each student residence hall in a group of three buildings a unique entrance design. They chose a different architectural firm for each one. The project also included exterior renovation and interior redesign of common areas and floors into student clusters and suites by the architects. Lightswitch Architectural worked with one of the architecture firms to create a dramatic and safe entrance.

What We Did

Lightswitch took the architect’s daylit rendering and created a night time scene with lighting on each of the architectural elements, greatly enhancing the structure and helping to “sell” the design to the client. The creative lighting design highlights the geometry and adds detail. Downlights under the canopy create glowing rectangles on the sidewalk, and provide enough illumination for residents to feel safe entering and exiting the building. Luminaires under the bench make it appear to float on a cushion of light. Lights above the canopy create a shadow of the over-arching cylinder on the building. Lights on each side of the columns increase their dimensionality. We used red LED strips, which look like neon, to draw a line on the arc. The LED strips are an off-the-shelf product and have better weather resistance, smaller transformers, and cost less than neon. Then we educated the skeptical contractors about all the new technology and demonstrated how it could be installed without a lot of trouble and could withstand the elements and the test of time.

Why It Worked

The lighting optimizes the architects’ vision for the project by calling out the sweeping forms, providing light for safety in a creative way with the rectangles of light on the ground, and giving the structure a “light” playful quality.