The Bridge for Laboratory Sciences Building at Vassar College, part of the school’s new Integrated Science Commons, consolidates numerous fields of study under one roof. The project is designed for LEED Silver certification.
The lighting achieves the major design objective of integrating the new facility into the campus landscape by accentuating the building’s natural materials and gestures. An illuminated handrail floats the main entrance, which seems to rise up out of the wetlands, and floodlighting of the exterior wall provides continuity between the inside and the outside. In addition, lighting from the interior silhouettes the building’s tapered vertical elements, to evoke birch trees.
The 400′ long building is gently curved, to respond to its site. On the interior, the lighting designers used a variety of techniques – fixture choices, layouts and architectural detailing – to subtly reinforce the building’s sweeping form.
By highlighting the natural materials and emphasizing transparency, the lighting blends the building into its landscaped setting.