This redevelopment project for the Powerhouse Arts Organization transformed a derelict factory structure on a contaminated site into a centre for artists, consisting of workshop space for fabrication in wood, metal, ceramics, textiles, and print. The industrial landscape and history of the site played a pivotal role in the lighting design in matching the raw sensibility of the space with industrial style fixtures. Behind their rudimentary outward appearance, however, is customized LED technologies with maximal efficiency and colour rendering capabilities that allow the artists to work and display under safe, well-rendered illumination while meeting stringent energy code requirements. The lighting also reinforces the juxtaposition of the adaptive reuse of the boiler house against the new turbine hall with contrasting colour temperatures that speak to the unique programs housed within each building.

The maker spaces, located in the existing boiler house, are illuminated with a system of industrial, cool white LED linear fixtures. These are organized along a service band in coordination with multiple types of other equipment housed within the space for art production.

Upon entering the new Turbine Hall, a field of luminous tubular fixtures march along with the rhythm of the existing barrel vaults in the welcome lobby. Custom RLM pendants drop from the mezzanine level to mark the lounge reception space below.

The “Grand Hall” is home to a large open event space, available to host public exhibitions, performances, gallery shows and more. A contrasting field of warm white downlights and sleek linear fixtures accentuate the brick coffers and preserved graffiti at the perimeter.

All finishes are customized to match the “Powerhouse red” interiors and to feel intrinsically connected to the space. Selecting lighting systems and appropriate controls that allowed for ultimate flexibility and future programmatic needs were considerations in the foreground of our design. The rugged looking track lighting can function as true theatrical house lighting, dimming to black for sophisticated production needs but also providing gallery style accent lighting for artist exhibitions.

A more intimate “Small Hall” uses track lighting and industrial linears to create a flexible space for filming, lectures, or art display. The old and new parts of the building work together with a shared language of lighting and high-performance technology to serve the modern creatives of Brooklyn.

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