Oklahoma Contemporary Wins IES Award

We are honored to share that Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center: Folding Light, submitted for Interior Lighting Design, was awarded the 2021 IES Illumination Award of Merit for its contribution to lighting design. Folding Light, architect Rand Elliott’s vision for the Oklahoma Contemporary Arts Center, provides the Oklahoma City community with a new home for artistic expression. Perhaps the most notable is how the building skin reflects the color of the sky throughout the day, including shades of orange in the morning, blues during the day, and reds at sunset.

This project strives to calm complexity through an elegant balance of integrating lighting with architecture through simple forms. Low-profile track lighting and suspended linear luminaires provide IESNA-recommended illuminance levels, while integrating with the architecture on a low-cost budget for a non-profit local community contemporary arts center. The project illustrates how elegant design does not need to be accompanied by a large budget.

Lighting is a key element for showcasing artwork. Gallery lighting must be adaptable to each individual show. The lighting design for this contemporary arts center maximizes adaptability with a wireless lighting control system that consists of dimmable line-voltage track lighting with low-cost, wireless-controlled dimmers. A mobile application on a smartphone or tablet allows exhibitors to control over 200 wireless switches that enable a variety of dimming levels. The dimmers mounted at structure, hidden from view, allowed the lighting control system to simply disappear and reduced installation cost.

The architectural design provided an additional unique challenge as ceilings are exposed structure, right angles are non-existent in public spaces, and the architecture beckoned to have building systems hidden. In order to reinforce the angular design elements, the ‘filler sections’ of track lighting were custom cut to create unique mitered joints, which created a continuation of the low-cost track and blended into the architecture.

The team was determined not to let cost sacrifice lighting of the galleries. Multiple mockups evaluating low-cost LED lamps were compared to halogen lamps, which the art center had used in its previous facility. After evaluating optical control; dimming consistency; construction quality; color rendition; and intensity, an LED lamp and track light combination was selected for the project. The owner was pleased with the cost-conscious solution that increased energy efficiency and reduced potential damage from infrared light, without sacrificing visual performance.

Earlier this year, Folding Light also became the winner of the 2021 American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) Nebraska Honor Award.

Preserving Parks and History with the National Park ServiceBricktown Exterior Lighting Wins IES Award