Illuminating this new nine-story, “vertical campus” for the prestigious Cooper Union was a rewarding challenge. The architecture is a powerful expression of art and engineering through dynamic forms that create spaces for human interaction at numerous scales, and within this framework rests a very pragmatic diagram of classrooms, offices, and laboratories. Lighting responds directly in both sculptural and pragmatic ways.
During the day, the metal scrim softly reflects the daylight, while at night, architectural components read through as glowing elements. The shape-defining exterior metal skin also integrates thermal and daylighting functions, and the design team took full advantage of this to balance daylight with electric light in the working spaces. Luminaires integrated with a control system automatically adjusts based on the amount of available daylight which serves as an integral source of illumination.