The most daunting design challenges are in spaces with large, flat ceilings.
Principal designer Gregg Mackell and associate designer Adam Beck, both of 186 Lighting Design Group in Denver, spent hours working with the interior architect on the “Mother Lode” residential project in Colorado to break up the ceiling planes with coves, reverse coves, skylights, and varied ceiling elevations. Their hard work paid off with an Award of Recognition in the 34th annual SOURCE Awards from Cooper Lighting.
Once the ceiling architecture was adequately broken up, RSA Quiet Ceiling square downlights were aligned with the architecture, furniture, built-ins, and art locations. Every architectural junction in this project is a right angle, which made square apertures the perfect choice for the recessed lighting. In fact, recessed squares illuminate nearly every room in this three-level condominium – from accent lighting and downlighting to wallwashing and shower applications. The squares were also chosen because of the ease in aiming, re-lamping, and adding media. The adjustable mudding frame made it easy for the contractor to accommodate the unusually thick Venetian plaster ceilings.
To add interest and depth to the living room, subtle accent lighting was applied to the inverse cove above the seating area. In the guest suites, RSA downlights are used for task, general, and accent lighting. The placement of the lighting was adjusted in the field to keep from highlighting the audio speakers, sprinkler heads, and other unattractive features in the center of each ceiling.
Lighting is even used to visually “move” people throughout the space. The square downlights are deliberately positioned to form lines that direct the owners to the master bedroom beyond the foyer. Along the way, art in the hallway appears nearly backlit as MR16 light sources make them stand out from the paneled wall. Meanwhile, hidden fluorescent lights with a cool color temperature simulate daylight from above.
For the master bedroom, three downlights draw attention to the texture of the contemporary stone fireplace. By illuminating the massive stone hearth from below, the structure appears to be hovering above the floor. The desk areas in the room are lit with linear task lights concealed behind casework valences to provide a streamlined, clean look.
Nearly every surface in the home, no matter how utilitarian the area, receives special lighting consideration. For example, in the elevator lobby, adjustable downlights graze the stone wall while a linear light strip below the cantilevered bench provide a floating effect. This detail eliminates shadows and makes it appear as if the light from overhead passes through the bench.
IRiS compact fluorescent downlights and wall washers were used to meet all energy, emergency, and egress codes for the lobby and public corridors. The inclusion of a complete home control system provides simple control over the multiple layers of daylighting and electric lighting throughout the residence. By selecting long-life light sources and judiciously using dimmers, the homeowners can minimize the need for maintenance. The various lighting scenes are set to accentuate the rich materials and create a warm, comfortable atmosphere.
Overall, the choice of unobtrusive lighting fixtures helps homeowners and guests focus on the spectacular views outside.