Feature, Retail

‘Transparent’ lighting at Arcadia Preparatory School

Arcadia Preparatory School, lit up in a 'transparent' and inclusive design

Arcadia Preparatory School requested an open, ‘transparent’ design for their lighting. Fagerhult Lighting have responded and created a stunningly bright and warm environment for learning.

The modern education environment must cater for a multitude of needs. It is no longer a case of providing the best lit environment in accordance with regulations. The needs of pupils, teachers and community must be taken into consideration. Balancing these needs with adapting to new learning techniques and delivering the lowest energy package means that the challenges facing the lighting designer are becoming more complex. It is particularly important in school, where the shaping of young minds happens with every interaction. Whether in the corridors, in class, playing sport, music or painting, the environment plays a huge part in encouraging creativity and the feeling of safety and support.

For Arcadia Preparatory School, designed by GAJ, the client provided a clear brief of creating a transparent school, not only educationally but also in context of its community. The sense of collaboration was a key feature that was to resonate throughout the design, and the lighting had to highlight this architectural ‘transparency’. The school is striving to achieve LEED certification, so careful light planning has become a corner stone in construction of the ‘green building’.

The entire school has been lit up with the system developed by Fagerhult Lighting.

Lighting design for classrooms centered around a fitting with a combination of excellent characteristics, gimmicky design so suitable for creative school environment, and a very easy trunking installation. The name ‘Inspirations’ says it all: its unique design and wide distribution pattern ensures even illumination of all teaching surfaces and perfect cylindrical illuminance necessary for pupil-teacher interaction. The forward-looking school utilizes Apple technology to communicate – that means big interactive screens in the classrooms.

The fitting’s round beam with an opaque diffuser minimizes disturbing reflections – which also works for big windows emphasizing the transparency feeling. Another type is the so called flipped classroom aiming to develop social and emotional learning skills with pupils invited to discuss and explore the content in a conference style layout easy for re-configuration. In this type of classrooms, lighting should be omni-directional to aid movement and facilitate communication. Hence, floating discs of direct-indirect pendants were introduced.

The reception combining a huge staircase that can be turned into a seating atrium area for events is lit with an array of powerful downlights with excellent mechanical cutoff and anti-glare ring. The same devil-in-the-detail design approach was applied to all school facilities: all-year-round swimming pool, breakout areas for children and staff, state-of-the-art science laboratories, music and art rooms, corridors as transition areas between outdoor with indoor.