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On Track: 5 Stunning Projects Built with Linear Lighting

Light transforms how we experience space. Find out how new designs are taking linear recessed lights to a new level.

Eric Baldwin Eric Baldwin

Find the perfect recessed linear lighting for your next project through Architizer’s new community marketplace for building-products. Click here for more information. It’s free for architects.

The lighting design of a project sets the mood and offers us diverse ways to utilize space. Selecting lighting fixtures for a project can happen early on in the design process. These lights can transform the overall concept and drive design thinking. Lighting solutions come in many shapes and sizes, from the traditionally surface mounted solutions to pendant or sconce fixtures. However, when a space calls for crisp lines and smooth planes, few products are more effective than recessed linear lights.

The following projects illustrate how simple recessed lighting can be harnessed for a wide variety of building typologies. Whether you are looking for a high-end, atmospheric solution for your next project or a simple but effective budget option, these contemporary case studies can light the way:

Pittman Dowell Residence by Michael Maltzan Architecture, La Crescenta-Montrose, CA, United States

Recessed Lighting by Eaton Lighting

The Pittman Dowell Residence lies at the edge of the Los Angeles National Forest. Designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture the residence sits on land that was originally planned as a hillside subdivision envisioned by Richard Neutra. Today the residence joins Neutra’s 1952 Serulnic Residence and an expansive desert garden.

While living in the original house, the artist owner conceptualized a new residence. One that would cater to the contemporary lifestyle as well as one that explores the connection between building and landscape. The heptagonal form of the residence is built on slices and cuts, that tie back to a theory of mathematical shape dissection. In plan the house is a series of unfolding spaces that collapse and distend out. The planes, lines and edges that make up the residence are all kept pure as to contrast the gentle irregularities and curves of the hillside. The linear recessed lights by Eaton Lighting keep the plane overhead free of clutter while at once carrying the continuity throughout the spaces.

Exeter School by Dake Wells Architecture, Exeter, MO, United States

Recessed lighting by GE

In Exeter, Dake Wells illustrates the importance of design and combining energy efficient lighting solutions with natural light. In Exeter School’s 11,000 sq. f. addition, striking wooden panels are formed to flow across walls and fold over the ceiling. Inspired by a sushi roll, the project bundles different programs and systems into one cohesive piece.

At either end, the multi-use space is flooded with light through clerestory windows, while overhead skylights punch though the folding wood panels. There are lights recessed in the wooden wrapper that provide a balance to the larger subtractions making up the skylights. Linearity and order is achieved with the use of GE’s energy efficient recessed linear lights that are seen to span the entirety of the room following in the direction of the central wood plane.

Vol Walker Hall and the Steven L. Anderson Design Center by Marlon Blackwell Architects, Fayetteville, AR, United States

Linear lighting by Visa, Winona, Eaton, Spectrum, Selux

Vol Walker Hall houses the Architecture, Landscape Architecture, and Interior Design programs within one building. The concept of connection and flow is carried throughout the Design Center by creating a hybrid building that at one end sees the thoughtful restoration of the original campus library, the Vol Walker Hall, and at the other a modern expansion.

Before, the central gallery was plagued with poor lighting and acoustics. The strategy to bring in light was twofold. First, to introduce lighting solutions and architectural features that illustrate construction methods for its students. Second, to create a space that feels unified and cohesive. A new entry is placed along the main campus axis. Natural lighting is brought into the center of the building where the old connects to the new, via twin stairwells. Many lighting types and brands are combined in the space, from recessed linear track lights and pendants to flush mounted light fixtures, brands like Visa Lighting, Winona Lighting, Spectrum, Selux, and Lucifer Lighting combine to create unique spaces to study and design.

Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame by Trahan Architects, Natchitoches, LA, United States

Recessed Lights by Eaton Lighting

The sweeping form and visual flow were central to the design thinking behind Trahan Architects’ Louisiana State Museum and Sports Hall of Fame. The cultural center beautifully bridges together two seemingly different collections, sports and history. Trahan conceptualized a series of spaces that meld together in plan and elevation.

Taking inspiration from an ancient river, the project features powerful flowing spaces carved by smooth sweeping gestures throughout the museum. Working with Eaton Lighting, they integrate custom curved recessed lights that gracefully follow the cast stone panel surface while leading the visitor to each state-of-the-art exhibit.

Dominion Office Building by Zaha Hadid Architects, Moscow, Russia

Linear Lighting by FisTechenergo

Black and white, light and dark describe Zaha Hadid Architects’ sleek Dominion Office Building. The workplace is among one of the first new projects built for the growing creative and IT sectors in Moscow. The idea was to have a series of stacked plates each offset from one another at every level.

Balconies and staircases interconnect each level within the center atrium that allows light deep into the building. Looking down from above, all horizontal planes and surfaces are understood as black, while the vertical sweeping planes are white. From below looking up towards the expansive skylight, the treads remain black, while the underside of the balconies, levels and walls are white. The curved linearity of the series of staircases is strengthened by the recessed lighting solutions provided by FisTechenergo. The continuous strips of light provides a soft glow that works its way up the atrium.

Find the perfect recessed linear light for your next project through Architizer’s new community marketplace for building-products. Click here for more information. It’s free for architects.