StudioK1 Revives Southwest College’s Cox Building

The design brief for this project at a community college was to revitalize a 1960’s Brutalist Architecture library through opening up its massive façade and its dark interiors, and by adding energetic and playful lighting elements. The south entry to the library introduces the “Dancing Lights” – color changing luminous elements that pass from one side of the building, through a central pass-through, to the north entry. Through a sophisticated DMX control system, the RGB LED light columns move through multiple shows, dancing with their counterparts on the interior. The main library atrium space presented multiple challenges. The exposed concrete ceiling, at 50’ above the main floor, posed maintenance difficulties, while light levels at the study areas were required to be high. The budget for the project was also extremely tight. The solution was to create an aggressive array of bare T5HO lamps, which provide up to 36,000 hours of lamp life for reduced maintenance, while providing generous light levels at a minimal cost and meeting California’s Title24 energy code.