The lighting design for DePaul University's LEED Gold certified Theatre School enhances the building's simple solidity, yet speaks to the flexibility and free-flow of the spaces within. The project's lighting is recognized with a Lumen Award and an IES Illumination Award.
Throughout the building the lighting serves a dual purpose. First, it responds to the architectural integrity of the space and second, another layer provides opportunities for theatrical lighting, achieving the university’s goal of making every inch of the building – even back-of-house areas – into a performance space.
A feature element is the flexible black-box theater that looks out onto the street. An RGBWA LED strip can light either the mullions of the building's glass curtain-wall or the metallic curtain at the space's perimeter. When this curtain is drawn it conceals the black-box theater, giving this space a dramatic presence when viewed from outside.
Whether a playful array of lights mimicking the movement of performers or an arrangement of fixtures to create a sculptural element, the lighting reflects the building’s mission with a theatricality and flexibility of composition that makes the project come alive.