When you enter Hillcrest Hall, the latest resident building on the campus of Oakland University, it is impossible not to be awe struck by the lighting lining the corridors. Luminis’ Lumistik family of LED products leads the contemporary lighting scheme that carries through to other areas of the Rochester Hills, Michigan residence. Lumistik luminaires illuminate the study and lounge areas on the top floor and basement, and Luminis’ Aramis pendants the 400-seat cafeteria and dining hall.
The whole architecture of the facility has a contemporary feel. A mix of glass walls and wooden walls offset the brightly colored chairs and couches. But it’s the lighting that catches the eye and illuminates all areas for the 750 students that call it home.
Architects and school planners sought to provide a full-service living and learning environment, set against the natural surroundings of the campus. Built into a hill, the main entrance brings guests into the 3rd floor lobby, and to the top of the ‘Monumental Stairs’. This leads guests down to the main dining hall, classrooms and study spaces. As its name implies, the expansive staircase is the focal point and the heart of the building.
Lumistik CL642 fixtures are what gives the Monumental Stairs its wow factor. The ceiling mounted pendants form two dramatic paths down the staircase from the third floor to the first. Lumistik’s LED light source is contained in an acrylic sealed cylinder that is designed to provide a uniform column of illumination. It makes an impactful design statement while providing functional light for the students moving down the staircase to the subterranean levels.
“The Lumistik luminaires make an impact even before you enter the building,” said Andy Meteer, principal at Clarus Lighting, Luminis’ representative and a member of the project sales team. “Placement of the fixtures ensures you can see them through the large glass windows when you come in from the driveway and parking lot. Once inside, the design called for staggering the stem lengths to adapt for the elevation changes as you descend the staircase. The goal was to ensure the luminaires are visible through the glass panes of the upper corridor.”
The Lumistik CL642 pendant was also selected to light a large lounge/study area on the upper floor of the building. The tubular Lumistik fixtures work well with the bright lounge furniture to create a welcoming and communal environment. This space, too, is framed by floor-to-ceiling windows, so the luminaires are visible from the ground below. This offers a consistent lighting aesthetic when viewed from the exterior.
“This is a very large residence,” said Meteer. “Beyond the aesthetics, the project required that we choose low-maintenance, energy efficient luminaires. And, of course all lighting needed to ensure the safety and security of the students.”
Lumistik products are high performance LEDs that will be easy to maintain and keep energy costs in check in the long run.
Lumistik CL622 pendants, which have a shorter 27” acrylic diffuser versus the 51” on the Lumistik CL642, were utilized to light one of the multi-purpose/study areas in the first floor (basement) level. The room is flanked by two walls of two-level windows, but the space is below ground, so ensuring adequate light for students to meet and work was paramount. The white translucent acrylic diffuser successfully illuminates the space to create a bright and productive environment. And mimicking the lighting intent of the Monumental Stairs, the luminaires are suspended so they are visible from the upper corridor windows.
The expansive dining hall is laid out in a series of pods to create an atmosphere that is more community and less cafeteria. Overhead lighting in an area of the hall is provided by Luminis’ Aramis family. The pendants are suspended from the high industrial ceiling to a level that provides appropriate lighting to the tables below. Aramis was selected to compliment the surrounding design elements and keep a consistency in lighting throughout the basement level. This luminaire, too, is an energy-efficient high-performance LED fixture that will require minimal maintenance in the years to come.
“The feedback from this entire project has been very positive,” concluded Meteer. “The space is beautiful. And the lighting creates a dramatic but inviting atmosphere in a modern, state-of-the-art facility.”
Project Name: Oakland University Hillcrest Hall
Specifier: Peter Basso & Associates – Gerard Hentrich
Design/Build Contractor – Advantage Electric & Controls – Fred Calandrino/Brian Campbell
Electrical Distributor – Caniff Electric Supply – Sue Morgan/Lenny Lovalvo
Luminis Agent: Clarus Lighting & Controls
Photography: John D’Angelo