2017 IALD Award Winners:
Award of Merit
U.S.A.F Academy Center for Character and Leadership Development
by Brandston Partnership

Luminaries of the lighting profession gathered at the Crystal Tea Room on 10 May to honor the winners of the 34th Annual International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) International Lighting Design Awards. Twenty-two projects from eight countries were on display – including interiors, monuments, façades, museums, and a residence. This year’s winners represent some of the most innovative and inspiring work found anywhere in the world of architectural lighting design.

The United States Air Force Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development, in Colorado Springs, CO USA, with lighting design by Brandston Partnership, took home an Award of Merit, accepted in person by Scott Matthews, IALD.

The United States Air Force Academy’s Center for Character and Leadership Development (CCLD) is a bold symbol of the Academy’s commitment to its Honor Code, the moral center of its curriculum. The Code is succinct: “We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does.” The CCLD houses an academic center devoted to integrating these precepts into the Academy’s curriculum, so the design for the space was conceived as a symbol to that code. The unusually shaped, glazed structure points to Polaris, the pole star central to classic celestial navigation and consequently a longtime symbol of the Academy’s unwavering moral code.

The main gathering space, the Forum, lies beneath the 105’ sloped skylight structure. It operates as a lecture, symposium, and presentation space both day and night, so it needed to support high quality seeing conditions under full Colorado sunlight as well as in a conventional house + stage lighting configuration for evening events.

A triangulated truss system of horizontal plates is hung from the ceiling, acting as both sunshade and light reflector. In parametric simulation, designers studied a variety of truss options in concert with various glazings and the use of graduated opaque frit patterns. The goal was to lower the apparent brightness of sky portions lying with in the audience’s field of view. On sunny days, seating area illuminance hovers around 500 fc. At night, an unconventional array of suspended mirrors reflects and spreads aimed illumination from a system of dimmable narrow-beam LED floodlights located along the base of the skylight. The DMX control system for the Forum includes an automatic daylight harvesting override.

The Center’s offices and academic spaces have conventional LED source illumination with automatic daylight harvesting, but the Wing Honor Board Room refers back to the celestial arrangement of the Forum space. Positioned directly south of the Forum’s stage, but located below-grade, this space is the venue for fact-finding related to alleged infractions of the Honor Code.

These proceedings, run by cadets, center on a conference table located beneath an LED-backlit laylight. Its beveled planes culminate in an elliptical cone-shaped aperture, providing a cadet in the witness chair a perfectly aligned view of the oculus at the top of the skylight and, in concept, the star Polaris lying 434 light years beyond. In this space, you’re never far from the Honor Code and its precepts.

CREDITS

PROJECT
UNITED STATES AIR FORCE ACADEMY CENTER FOR CHARACTER + LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT COLORADO SPRINGS, CO USA

LIGHTING DESIGN
Scott Matthews, IALD
Brandston Partnership Inc

ADDITIONAL CREDITS

ARCHITECTURE
Roger Duffy
Frank Mahan
Thierry Landis
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

LANDSCAPE
THK Associates

CODE + FIRE SAFETY
CCI

IT/AUDIO VISUAL
Cerami & Associates

THEATER CONSULTANT
Fisher Dachs Associates

COST ESTIMATOR
Faith + Gould

PHOTOGRAPHY/IMAGES
© Magda Biernat / Otto Archive