Case Study: St. Leonard's College

December 19, 2023 Deborah Perkins

"eldoLED is the go to solution for smooth dim to dark (and dim from dark) with DALI. Since the St Leonards experience, anyway,  we specify only eldoLED drivers for our auditorium projects." - Nicolò Brambilla, Schuler Shook

Leonardian Centre | St. Leonard's College, Melbourne, Australia

St. Leonard’s College is one of Melbourne’s premier independent coeducational schools for ELC to Year 12. This historical college prides itself on providing diverse opportunities for students that’ll help them develop into selfless global citizens. St. Leonard’s firmly believes the gift of education doesn’t only impact their students—it impacts the lives of others as well.

In 2017, St. Leonard’s College appointed ARM Architecture to renovate the campus and incorporate new buildings. ARM Architecture brought in Schuler Shook to design a cost-effective and fully dimmable lighting scheme for one of the newest additions—the Leonardian Centre.  

Implement Flexibility With Uniformity

The Leonardian Centre serves multiple purposes. St. Leonard’s College wanted to leverage the facility as an auditorium for multiple theatrical and performance types. The College also needed a teaching space for their higher-level students to upgrade their knowledge on lighting and sound engineering, audio recording and set design.

Deep dimming was the vital element to the Leonardian theatre. It was integral to the emotions within the theatre performances and for fostering a friendly learning environment. To meet both demands, the light levels needed to achieve an illuminance of 240 lux for learning and 160 lux for theatre usage. Schuler Shook specified the iGuzzini Pixel Pro Downlights  with Dynalite DALI Controller and eldoLED’s SOLOdrive 30W LED driver for general lighting. They chose DALI as the controls protocol since it was price efficient and easy to source.

The trio enabled the Leonardian Centre to easily transition between the different space purposes and provide a versatile and cohesive lighting scheme. Our SOLOdrive LED driver’s deep-dimming capabilities yielded a flawless and transformative experience that dimmed down to zero and back up to full brightness—without any perceived steps.  An exceptional invisible feature since dim to zero is difficult to achieve LEDs with DALI. Providing students and theater enthusiasts alike for a flawless experience.

Accent The Interior Design Features

The college wanted the Leonardian Centre to fuse the concepts of learning and theatrics to improve the St. Leonard’s student experience. ARM Architecture created a modern design influenced by Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre since their gabled roof parallels St. Leonard College’s historical Harefield House (circa 1890).

The inside of the Leonardian Centre has a traditional shoebox shape. A collection of 3D ornate, oversized skirting board patterns adorns the walls and originates from St. Leonard’s crest. Not only do these striking patterns catch your eye—they also optimize the acoustics.

Schuler Shook wanted to call attention to these signature interior design features with lighting. They selected iGuzzini Laser Blade L Wall Washer and paired it with Dynalite DALI Controller and eldoLED’s SOLOdrive 30W for the wall washing of the side walls.

This interoperable combination fused both sensations of sight and sound. Creating an incredibly intimate experience that encapsulated the space, modernized the campus and maximized the student experience.

Schuler Shook, Arm Architecture and St. Leonard’s College not only achieved their lighting goals of cohesive and cost-effective functional beauty—they also received recognition along the way. The Leonardian Centre is a proud winner of the Medium Indoor Projects category in the 2020 DALI Lighting Awards.

Photography: Gollings Photography

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