Lighting That Complements the Visual Effect

© John Muggenborg

Challenge: The Roy and Diana Vagelos Education Center is a state-of-the-art medical and graduate education building in New York City. The 100,000-square-foot, 14-story glass tower represents a new approach to education, featuring technologically advanced classrooms and collaboration spaces. The centerpiece of the design is the “Study Cascade,” an exposed, interconnected vertical staircase that spans the length of the building.

The exposed nature of the Study Cascade’s design on the southern side of the building triggered a unique challenge for the lighting team of Suzan Tillotson, Scott Baillie-Hinojosa and Christopher Cheap. The lighting had to be precise and powerful, yet it had to keep from being intrusive on residents, drivers and pedestrians as it is located in the residential district of NYC.

The design team was keenly aware of the proximity of the building’s neighbors and wanted to find a conscientious lighting strategy that would minimize glare and unnecessary spill light.

Additionally, the vertical orientation of the southern side of the building called for a lighting solution that would complement the design ambition of the architect. Luminaires would be strategically placed in wood and canted ceilings to effectively deliver appropriate light levels and coverage for the variety of programs that comprise the cascade.

Solution: With custom optics designed around the precision Xicato brand light engine, Prescolite’s D2LED and A2LED luminaires were selected to satisfy the need for clean ceilings with minimal obtrusiveness. At up to 1,200 delivered lumens and with a variety of beam options, the luminaires were powerful and flexible enough for use in these ceilings, especially in the areas that reached 20 to 30 feet.

Minimal Obtrusiveness with the Highest Quality of Light

Prescolite’s specification-grade D2LED and A2LED, when combined with the Xicato light engine, meets the performance criteria and provides a clean ceiling look with minimal obtrusiveness.

The intelligent design of the A2LED was developed specifically for sloped ceilings. It features a smooth 35-degree optical pattern that can be adjusted and locked up to 30-degrees from a vertical plane. It can also be adjusted 360 degrees rotationally. Bottom line: with the A2LED in hand, the design team was empowered with the flexibility to aim exactly where the light would be needed.

By offering up superior performance in a two-inch aperture luminaire, the install-from-below features of the A2 and D2 – unique at the time – eliminated the need for a traditional downlight housing, which simplified installation during construction. This feature also afforded the design team the flexibility during the construction phase to ensure the fixtures were placed in the optimal position.

Prescolite incorporated Xicato’s LED module to guarantee the longevity of a consistent color. Xicato offers unmatched quality of light and the industry’s only five year color consistency and lumen maintenance warranty.

The performance and superior distribution ability of Prescolite’s two-inch wall wash qualified it for use, and the design team felt confident in its ability to complement the downlights, enhancing the clean ceiling aesthetic.

Benefits: The building itself is nothing short of stunning and is likely to change the paradigm of how medical training facilities are designed.

The performance of the A2LED and the D2LED guarantee minimal lighting obtrusiveness. By using a 2” diameter luminaire, the team was able to avoid the “swiss cheese” effect and instead feature a sleek look throughout.

The custom optic around the source discourages the human eye from being drawn into the fixture, ensuring minimal glare, complementing the design ambitions of the architect and satisfying the needs of the external stakeholders.

And the consistency of the color quality helps achieve the minimalistic aesthetic throughout the vertical incline of the facility.

These products complement the space and the angles without interfering or overpowering the architectural atmosphere they create. In this application, the lighting enhances the architect’s vision.

“The attributes of Prescolite’s A2LED and D2LED presented the team with options that other products at the time were not able to offer. The small apertures and degree of adjustability all worked in our favor to complement the complex geometries of the architecture while at the same time minimizing glare and delivering comfortable light levels throughout. The finished product is stunning.”

-Scott Baillie-Hinojosa, Tillotson Design