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Candalepas Associates, Sydney

Candalepas Associates, Sydney

Architect's office in listed commercial building lit effectively and atmospherically

An architect from Sydney and his team acquire a listed commercial building and show in an exemplary fashion how, on the basis of a perception-oriented lighting design, a lighting solution, which is both effective and pleasing, and which is remarkable for its economy and sensitive treatment of spatial features, can be produced.

For an architect with high creative expectations – apart from his own studio building, designed by himself – there can hardly be a more fitting office space than an old industrial loft. The atmospheric quality of these usually high rooms, which are frequently flooded with light, their rugged charm and their workshop character explains why they have attracted creative minds for so long.
The renowned Australian architect, Angelo Candalepas also succumbed to the attraction of such spaces; last year he and his team moved into a listed commercial building, built at the beginning of the 20th century in the heart of Sydney's bustling Central Business District. The conversion of the narrow, three-storey brick building into an architect's office succeeded admirably in preserving the original features of the building to as great an extent as possible. The rooms have a fresh, clean, contemporary feel, but without disguising either their history or their former purpose.



Light as the central issue in office design

In order on one hand to create optimum conditions at his team's workstations and on the other to emphasise the special atmosphere of the building, Candalepas considered the lighting of the rooms as paramount. In the light of his quality requirements – what was demanded was a pleasant, efficient, glare-free light – It almost went without saying that he chose to work with ERCO. "During the day," he admitted, "we are very glad of natural light and we like to work with it. However, in the evenings, when the daylight disappears, we always choose lighting from ERCO to give the equivalent lighting atmosphere.”

One of the challenges of the lighting design in Sydney was the distinctively different amount of natural daylight penetrating the different spaces, which required a careful balance of natural and artificial light. Therefore dimmable lights were used throughout the office, so that the artificial light would match the changing daylight conditions at all times. A second problem was posed by the uneven, highly structured ceilings of the old building, which were to remain. ERCO tracks were so successfully integrated into this ceiling structure that they can be perceived as a supplementary, but never disruptive element.



Differentiated lighting concept

Following Richard Kelly's lighting philosophy that lighting should be installed only where it is needed, we developed a convincing differentiated light concept, which was essentially implemented with three luminaire families. Whereas in the rather dark basement 8 watt Starpoint downlights with wide flood lenses provide a bright, friendly atmosphere, in the entrance area and offices spotlights from the Parscan and Pantrac luminaire families with a variety of wattage and light distribution were used.
On the ground floor, where all the meeting areas for informal meetings and formal discussions with clients are located, 24 watt Parscan wallwashers produce ambient lighting, which serves several purposes: It expands the visual impression of the rather tube-like division of the spaces, unobtrusively sets off the often aesthetically charming substance of the old building and lights up the large pin boards in the discussion areas, which are used for presentations or internal discussions. Accent light is provided by 24 watt Parscan spotlights with flood lenses, which have been angled towards the discussion tables and support concentrated work.

In the office areas on the first and second upper floors, where people work at screens – Parscan spotlights with oval flood light distribution are used for steady, glare-free illumination of the surfaces of the desks. Thanks to the superior quality of the ERCO Spherolit lenses and the wide light distribution they allow, few luminaires are needed here to illuminate the workstations to best advantage. For the ambient lighting Parscan wallwashers were the choice once more – this time 12 watts. They were supplemented in areas with particularly high ceilings by 24 watt Pantrac ceiling floodlights.



The icing on the cake for the lighting solution

The office used personally by Angelo Candalepas proved particularly delicate, due to its high ceiling and large window aperture. Whereas his desk itself has been placed next to the window, a separate drawing board, used for working on plans, is so far from the window that it is not sufficiently well-lit, even in daylight. The solution for this office area was two Pantrac ceilingwashlights, each 24 watts, which provide suitable ambient lighting and a Parscan spotlight, which is directed with perfect precision onto the drawing board. For concentrated work in the evening hours Lucy, the most recent task light from ERCO, stands on Candalepas' desk, almost like the icing on the cake for this Sydney lighting solution. Positioned in front of the large window it provides two functional advantages: it can be swivelled and directed for individual purposes and in particular, it can be dimmed down to one per cent.

All the luminaires in Candalepas' architect's office are equipped with 3000k warm white light. This enhances the almost homely warm atmosphere radiating from these workrooms, which is so treasured by his team. However, the most important message to be derived from the project is that ERCO lighting tools with their brilliance and technical perfection make a significant contribution to well thought-out, efficient lighting solutions for the office, at affordable material expense.

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