Lighting for the Student Success Center
@ UC Riverside
Winner of a 2023 Illuminating
Engineering Society (IES)
Dreaming of a New
UCR’s Student Success Center was envisioned as a campus beacon for learning, creativity, collaboration and community building. University leaders needed to respond to a growing student body by increasing instruction space in a manner consistent with UCR’s values and academic mission.
Accordingly, the new building needed to be located at a prominent campus location for accessibility, with entrances from all directions and integration of the adjoining exterior spaces to tie into the campus network of open spaces.
How to Bring a
Vision to Light
Brought into the design team, the Lighting Studio set to work to create interior and exterior lighting that aligned and enhanced UCR’s goals and complemented the work of the other design team partners.
They began with a photometric study of the space, testing multiple fixtures with different optics and aiming angles to ensure even illumination throughout, even on the ceiling. They also made calculations to understand the contribution of indirect lighting on the lower-level staircase in addition to the downlights.
Lighting the Signature
Space & Facade
The open and airy atrium, the paseo, is the signature space that slices vertically through the building and connects all three levels. The lighting team was challenged with the task of keeping the ceiling clear of any fixtures. The ceiling remains uninterrupted, consistent with the airy, open aesthetic and softly “elevates” the asymmetrical roof. Small, shallow fixtures integrate seamlessly with architectural details while providing uniform illumination for the Paseo. Thoughtful collaboration and design charettes ensured that light fixtures were rigorously aligned with the interior architecture.
In an innovative approach to highlight the bold architectural elements, the building façade is illuminated with a small cove that remains subdued enough to be mindful of the surrounding environment while also providing functional illuminance to meet the users’ needs.
& Enhanced Visual Comfort
Decorative pendants of varying lengths over the collaboration table create multiple focal points that draw the user’s attention. Indirect ambient lighting paired with a light-colored ceiling minimizes shadows and glare, making the space look voluminous and visually comfortable.
LEED Gold Certified
The atrium showcases the three layers of lighting – focal glow, ambient luminescence and play of brilliants. Despite the use of indirect lighting in many spaces and accent fixtures in others, the building exceeded the strict California Title 24 energy savings requirements by over 15% and is LEED Gold certified.
The project also earned project of the year for San Diego Green Building Council’s Sustainability Awards 2022.