Wilson School of Design

Designed by KPMB Architects and Public Architecture + Communication, the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University is a modern post-and-beam wood structure with steel decking on a concrete raft slab, compared to a ship by the architects. Located in Richmond, BC, Canada, the facility was set to become a preeminent school for technical fashion design industry on the West Coast.  The design of the 60,000 sq ft design school fosters interdisciplinary collaboration by positioning flexible design studios, labs, open offices and shared spaces across all five floors. Housing six faculties—graphic design, fashion design, product design, technical apparel design, fashion marketing, and interior design—under a single roof, it is a true melting pot of everything creative.

The design objective was to deliver a healthy learning environment that would foster collaboration and to exemplify KPU's burgeoning position as a sustainability leader in the education sector. Selected Fluxwerx suspended Profile luminaires, specified in various lighting distributions, compliment the architecture while delivering even and appropriate lighting levels and color rendering for both large atriums and common spaces, lecture halls, and study areas.

Careful selection of energy efficient luminaires and ballasts reduced installed lighting power density by 32% compared to code baseline. The Wilson School of Design is 43% below ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard, exceeding the Architecture 2030 Challenge by 18%. The lighting control system includes both occupancy and daylight sensors beyond code (ASHRAE 90.1-2007) in several spaces. Occupancy and daylight sensors, installed throughout the building, allow the lights to be turned off or dimmed when the spaces are vacant. While the lights are on, the daylight sensors dim the lights if there is sufficient daylight within the space. Manual dimmers, also provided in most spaces, allow users further adjustment of the light levels.

The design team worked closely with the School's leadership, user representatives and climate engineers to establish guiding principles for energy efficient performance and to achieve LEED Gold. The end result is a modern, up-to-date learning space to the Kwantlen University campus, which seamlessly integrates lighting and architecture while meeting needed functionality requirements.

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Location: Richmond, British Columbia, Canada
Market: Institutions + Workplaces
Client: Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Architect: KPMB Architects
Lighting Design: AES Engineering / Pelle Björnert
Photographer: Andrew Latreille