Cammisa + Wipf Consulting Engineers OLED Case Study
As an architectural lighting designer, Craig Oty, PE, IALD, likes to practice what he preaches. And he envisioned the secondary conference room just off the main lobby of his San Francisco-based firm, Cammisa + Wipf Consulting Engineers, as the perfect canvas for him to display his talents.
Viewed through a ceiling-to-floor glass window, the room is a five-sided, Nevada-shaped polygon – which would otherwise be rectangular if not for one corner bisected by a 45° wall. Inside, is a conference room table that comfortably seats eight, that was originally illuminated by pendant mounted linear direct/indirect fluorescent lights that had no relationship with the table below.
“Frankly, it didn’t feel like a conference room. It was disorganized; just a room with a table and chairs,” notes Oty, a Senior Associate with the firm. “It didn’t have any flair, so we have been scheming to come up with a (lighting) solution that would be more architecturally relevant and OLED seemed like a strong choice.”
Incredibly thin and lightweight, OLED fixtures provide focal points of sculpted light that offer a variety of distinctive form factors (like smaller-scale sculptural pieces) heretofore unseen in the indoor lighting industry. OLED lighting introduces a new design paradigm where technology, architecture, and lighting intersect with human emotions. Increasingly, designers – like Oty – are incorporating it into a wide variety of interior lighting applications, including corporate, hospitality, healthcare, and residential.
With an OLED-featured lighting upgrade, Oty hoped the conference room would symbolize the ability of his firm to offer dynamic architectural lighting designs for its own clients.
“Our goal was to get architects to see it and love it,” he explains, “and understand the great things we can do with lighting.”
To bring his vision to life and bolster the conference room’s lighting, Oty turned to 16500 Inc., a factory-authorized representative for Acuity Brands, one of the world’s leading providers of lighting solutions.
Based on Oty’s lighting layouts and product specifications, the Acuity Brands/16500 team produced lighting calculation analyses so that Oty could evaluate lighting performance for each scenario.
Oty settled on a clever design centered on a single OLED luminaire – a CANVIS HRZ drape luminaire from Winona hanging directly above and visually reinforcing the conference room table. Supplementary soft lighting is supplied by three sleek, ceiling-recessed Peerless Mino 2x2 LED fixtures. Oty also worked with the Acuity Brands/16500 team to utilize Acuity Controls nLIGHT components to complete the design as a fully integrated and intelligent lighting solution.
The draping CANVIS fixture appears to be floating in air, suspended dramatically from the ceiling by a set of sweeping and nearly imperceptible cables. Its flexible, horizontal frame houses 66 OLED panels individually encased in injection-molded polymer cassettes, producing an elegant, curvilinear gesture reminiscent of a rope bridge over a river gorge.
To Oty’s delight, there’s nothing typical about it, and it incites a reaction from anyone who sees it.
“People who look at it the first time, with the light turned off, ask ‘How can you get light out of something like that?’” Oty notes. “Then, you turn it on – and they instantly see the transformation.”
Since installing the OLED and LED system in the small conference room, Oty has seen it make an immediate and stunning impression on co-workers and visitors alike.
But it’s more than just a showpiece. The new lighting system has stimulated greater use of the small conference room, which adjoins a larger, 30-seat conference room.
Oty explains that the lighting – controlled by a dimming system – is functional as well as inspiring, enabling co-workers to use the room for formal presentations, casual conversations, or to engage in more detailed work.
Now that he’s seen firsthand the lighting design options that OLED can create, Oty envisions weaving OLED into designs for certain Cammisa + Wipf clients seeking to add zest to an entryway, conference room, or other area intended to evoke surprise and wonderment.
Certainly, the form factor allows for some pretty unique shapes that you couldn’t get before,” he says. “OLED can really punch up the design of any space.”
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