Project Opening: Bicentennial Library at Princeton Theological Seminary


(photo by Robert Benson)

The Bicentennial Library at Princeton Theological Seminary was renovated as part of a celebratory $100 million campaign for the college’s bicentennial. With a 45,000 square foot renovation and 91,000 square foot addition, the space designed by EYP Architecture and Engineering encompasses research rooms, collection management, and collaborative areas for students to meet. The collection housed at the Library is rivaled only by the Vatican’s itself, and the front community space houses a rotating exhibit with various artifacts.



(photo by Robert Benson)

The lighting was customized for the purpose of each individual room, from archival needs to study needs. The exterior arcade, first floor reading rooms, and research reading rooms are the most decorative, with multiple layers of light to complement the needs of each room. Fixtures include LED strip lights and custom-made combination fluorescent and incandescent pendants. Controls included dimming mechanisms and photosensors to keep the space as sustainable as possible.


(photo by Robert Benson)


(photo by Robert Benson)

Build with Light!

Sometimes, you just can’t find a fixture to fit the space you need it to, or you want an odd-shaped fixture, or you want to be able to quickly change the brightness. Well, now there’s a solution — a magnetic modular lighting system!


The more pieces you add, the brighter it is. There is also a dimming option. The magnets mean you can build it in almost any shape!



What applications can you see for this technology? Would this have far-reaching uses or would it remain a niche novelty?

Re-envisioning the Old

We’ve talked here about the archival importance of lighting, but sometimes it just comes down to safety and numbers. Here are a few old structures that are getting re-lit to become safer and more energy conscious.

The Harvard Bridge (which goes right from Boston to MIT) is getting a makeover with more lighting that is also brighter. It’s a dark yet heavily used bridge, between vehicle traffic, pedestrians, and bicycles. The lighting posts will be installed every 30 smoots to increase the brightness across the bridge, making it safer for both the pedestrians and bicyclists.



(and read the article if you have any questions about smoots, the inaccurate if historically interesting unit of measure for this specific bridge).

The other old structure that recently got an upgrade is the Castle Howard. Over the past 5 years, they have been upgrading their heating systems to ground source, and lighting systems to LED. This is not only helping to preserve the artifacts, it is also saving the estate tens of thousands of pounds (more in USD). Apparently the LED system paid for itself in energy savings in just three months.

Finally, the L train rails in Chicago are getting a makeover. Two lighting designers unveiled their design for the L train rails at Wabash, which will be part of Chicago’s lighting design challenge. Tubes of LEDs will be placed under the rails, with the potential to be programmed in an infinite number of ways.


Though this is not meant to be permanent — the installation is projected to last only about five years.

Project Opening: Channel Center Garage

The Channel Center Garage officially opened 29 July 2014. Team members CV Properties, Spalding Tougias Architects Inc, Halvorson Design Partnership, Available Light, and artist Joanne Kaliontzis all celebrated with the Fort Point community in an evening-to-dark bash. The Revolutionary Snake Ensemble got everyone moving, food trucks offered delicious fare, and families enjoyed romping around the new park.

We entered the project with two missions. First, to design the lighting for a parking structure that met both the owner’s minimum light level expectations while also meeting or exceeding energy codes — all while working towards a target budget. To squeeze out and maximize every watt of energy consumption, a state-of-the-art control system, coupled with LED luminaires, is constantly monitoring and reacting to both auto and pedestrian occupancy. With 1,644 total lighting fixtures, it is ten times more efficient than required by code.

Second, to create a programmable and dynamic lighting system to support an artist’s vision for the exterior facade. Color-changing LED technology, located behind the exterior art panels, reveal shape and form during the nighttime presentation. It is Boston’s largest illuminated artwork, with 2,031 custom panels punched with 999,396 holes.

Additionally, the Garage features 5 electric vehicle charging stations, 10 electric vehicle spaces, 6 carpool spaces, and 100 bicycle spaces. The green space in front offers play equipment, a dog park, a basketball court, and more than 140 trees. There’s plenty of space for dancing.

This building is an icon for the entire South Boston rejuvenation effort and we are extremely proud to be part of the team tasked with bringing it to life!

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