When Buckeye Elementary School District envisioned its newest primary school, it aspired to break the traditional school design formula. John S. McCain III Elementary School was developed with the theme of 'Taking Flight,' in homage to its namesake; the late Senator was a Navy jet fighter pilot early in his career. The school features a C-STEM curriculum, which also drove the progressive, contemporary design.
Orcutt | Winslow was the architect of record for the project, and the team worked with the Buckeye Elementary School District from initial community engagement meetings right through construction administration.
One of the formative elements of the project was the concept that ‘learning spills over’: the school would be available as a public space when the school was not in use. To this end, the 95,000 sq. ft. building incorporates three unique courtyards that can be utilized day or evening. Luminis’ Lumiquad LQ641 and LQ640 columns were selected to illuminate these spaces.
"There is a lot of movement happening throughout the building's exterior," said Kasey Josephs, project designer and project manager at Orcutt | Winslow. "We wanted to activate the courtyard spaces to create unique environments for the school children and other community events."
At six feet in height, the Lumiquad columns effectively illuminate the pathways and the nearby building facade, creating a warm and welcoming environment. The contemporary look complements the clean lines of the surrounding architecture and elevates the space, whether it’s hosting a PTA meeting, cocktail party, or even a live performance.
Eight of the columns are LQ640 Lumiquad luminaires with a high-impact white translucent acrylic diffuser. They provide enhanced illumination in one of the enclosed courtyards that is home to a sunken amphitheater.
“We had seen the Lumiquad columns in another school project and really liked their look," Josephs said. "They’re durable for a school environment, and I really appreciate the quality of light.”
Beyond the courtyard areas, LQ641 columns are placed near school entrances to provide additional safety and security as students, teachers, and visitors pass through in the evening.
All luminaires were selected with a bronze finish to complement the bronze-anodized window systems throughout the project.
Each Lumiquad is built to withstand the rigors of a schoolyard environment; its aluminum construction features integrated struts that act as a reinforcing cage. And with an IP65 rating and a lifetime beyond 60,000 hours, the luminaires are designed for longevity and low maintenance.
“The Luminis fixtures really work well with the architecture,” said Josephs. “They offer a progressive, cutting-edge look that flows with the school design.”
PROJECT NAME: John S. McCain III Elementary School
LOCATION: Buckeye, Arizona, USA
CATEGORY: Exterior Lighting
PROJECT COMPLETION: August 2021
ARCHITECT: Orcutt | Winslow
LUMINIS AGENT: RC Lurie Company
PHOTOGRAPHY: Matt Winquist Photography