Baylor University Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and InnovationAcademic | Daylighting
|SIZE:||285,000 sq. ft.|
|ARCHITECT:||Overland Partners | Architects|
|AWARDS:||A|L Light and Architecture Awards - Best Use of Daylighting|
|PHOTOGRAPHER:||© Paul Bardagjy|
|DESIGN TEAM:||Paul Zaferiou|
The Paul L. Foster Campus for Business and Innovation building provides the thriving Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University with a leading edge facility, which reflects the school’s dedication to creating the next generation of world-class business leaders.
In a collaborative design process with both the architects and owners, aspects of Baylor’s neo-Georgian aesthetic were maintained with new materials and innovative building technologies, in order to demonstrate how rich tradition and contemporary design can come together to create an inspiring learning environment.
A major design challenge was developing a solution to provide as much access to natural light throughout the year as possible, without creating glare or thermal discomfort for the occupants. In particular, the 4-story central atrium was the first task, and initially envisioned by the architect to be capped with a standard north-facing saw-tooth, monitor-style roof. While this was effective, our design team lamented a missed opportunity to create a more dynamic environment within the bustling heart of the building. Employing sophisticated daylight analysis tools, our team quickly explored multiple options that controlled and redirected sunlight year round, before settling on a formula that offered the most promising results and ability to match the architectural vision.
Simultaneously, an interior aesthetic emerged, partly from the architect’s inspiration of the strong geometric works of Josef Albers, and from the University’s desire for a large, round auditorium space. The resultant round and linear language then began to inform lighting concepts throughout the project; the former for gathering spaces, and the latter for circulation.
Considering that the project was designed in mid-2013, the cost and efficacy of the now ubiquitous LED lighting were still at the point where fluorescent fixtures were deemed the better choice for the lensed linear recessed fixtures in the circulation spaces. With that said, the University was still very keen to explore LED technology in other areas of the project, which made sense in terms of access, maintenance, physical size, and aesthetics. This lead to the selection of a linear LED direct/indirect pendant family for all offices and classrooms, with form factor and design as a near-perfect compliment to the design of the building. The optical performance was also superior, compared to linear fluorescent technology — meaning that fixtures could be spaced farther apart and save a significant amount of energy. The resultant low LPD of .59W/sf, combined with a networked lighting control system and aggressive daylight harvesting thresholds, contributed to the LEED Gold rating.
The lighting of the exterior environment was as much about safety and navigation as it was about incorporating the contemporary interpretation of Baylor’s classical architecture into the campus masterplan. In addition to traditional framed windows, heavier masonry planes of the building’s facade appear to split and shift, thereby creating viewports that reveal the inner workings of the school.
With the exception of walkways, exterior stairs, entries, and signage, the façade was deliberately not lighted, in order to strengthen this contrast in the evening and emphasize the student activity within. Two matching cupolas, designed as a series of stacking horizontal plates, are illuminated to not only act as campus beacons, but also to display an architectural detail not easily observed during the day.
The new facility has been very well received by both students and faculty alike, both groups having commented on how the lighting contributes to spaces feeling bright and inviting, while also supporting the architect’s concepts for navigation and hierarchy of volume.