“Urban by Nature” Inspires the Lighting Design of LEED-certified Visitor Centre


May 26, 2019

The Rivierè-des-Mille-Îles Park encompasses an array of natural forest, waterways, marshland and shoreline in the city of Laval, Quebec. With its exceptional biodiversity, it’s a unique natural attraction for the city, and welcomes over 150,000 visitors annually.

The Exploration Centre is the latest addition to the park and was built as the main visitor welcome area. The pavilion stands out with its modern and avant-garde architecture, and magnificent view of the nearby river.

Luminis’ high performance Syrios LED fixtures were selected to illuminate the welcome centre both inside and out. The project’s lighting designer capitalized on the Syrios family’s flexible design potential, integrating a combination of exterior wall-mounted and interior wall-mounted and pendant luminaires within the family.

The contemporary cylindrical design of the Syrios luminaires, all with a matte black finish, enhance the Exploration Centre’s dramatic mix of modern and rustic, with its large wooden beams, giant windows and a grand hall. The overall architecture and lighting design are aligned with the city’s strategic vision of “Urban by nature.”

Energy efficiency was also a factor in the decision to use Luminis fixtures, as the building was built to the specifications of the LEED New Construction 2009 Gold certification. The stringent process required that the Centre achieve high performance in key areas of health and the environment, including water and energy savings, recuperation of rainwater and natural ventilation.

The energy-saving features of the Syrios family successfully adhere to the strict LEED Gold certification criteria. All luminaires are designed for performance, reliability and durability. Each fixture features an integral LED sealed light module designed for optimal heat dissipation and lighting performance.

The exterior of the split-level pavilion is a striking mix of wood siding and large floor-to-ceiling windows. The main entrance and wraparound patio stand out with a sweeping overhang canopy of steel and wooden beams. Luminis’ Syrios SY602 fixtures are mounted on the wood panels between windows; the uplight accentuates the wooden canopy above and the downlight pushes light to the surrounding visitor walkway and patio below.

Additional Syrios SY602 luminaires are installed around the perimeter of the pavilion, highlighting the facade and offering centre employees and evening visitors a well-lit passage along a small path that hugs the building. The unique tilting mechanism in the luminaires provides full adjustability of the light module so that the light beam can be directed exactly where it is needed.

Luminis’ Syrios SY600 downlight is mounted over each of the secondary doorways around the Centre’s exterior. The same tilting mechanism in the fixture ensures each light beam is precisely aimed to illuminate its doorway entrance.

With the mix and match design capabilities of the Syrios family exterior and interior fixtures, the lighting scheme flows seamlessly indoors. The main floor of the centre is accessed via a vestibule that is illuminated by Syrios SY806 up/down pendants suspended from the lower ceiling. Visible from the approaching walkway, light from the black cylinders is precisely directed to provide a safe, welcoming illumination for visitors.

Past the vestibule, the main floor of the Exploration Centre immediately opens up to the grand hall. Exposed wooden ceiling beams, a black steel drop ceiling and walls of glass overlooking the river continue to embrace the “Urban by nature” theme.

While the space benefits from significant natural light, the Syrios family of luminaires continues to play a key role in the beautiful hall. Clusters of Syrios SY306, SY606 and SY806 up/downlight pendants are suspended from the high ceilings. These particular fixtures are distinguishable by their varying diameters (3”, 6” and 8”); the mix of sizes offers an interesting visual design element while illuminating the floor surface below.

Syrios SY602 interior up/downlights are featured along the vertical wall of the black steel drop ceiling; the fixture blends into its dark background, so the focus is on the illumination. The uplight showcases the high wooden ceiling and the downlight provides illumination to the floor space that separates the lower ceilings of the café, exposition hall and multipurpose room from the great room itself.

The Exploration Centre, and the park itself, is a natural jewel for the city of Laval, and its citizens will enjoy, and learn from, the protected wildlife, waterways, and islands for generations to come.  Its investment in a facility that is LEED certified, including energy-efficient lighting, means minimal impact on the environment it serves to showcase and protect.

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