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Lighting the way to learning

Case Studies | April 1, 2014 | By:

Fabric ceiling system filters and diffuses light at university library

Students visiting the multi-story Munday Library and Learning Commons, a classroom and technology hub for St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas, thrive on the renovated building’s indirect sunlight, muted acoustics and clean, elegant design.

Architects Sasaki Associates created the right frame for study and scholarship using LightFrame® from SEFAR® Architecture, Depew, N.Y., a manufacturer of fabric systems for interior and exterior architectural applications.

The LightFrame illuminated modular fabric ceiling system incorporates dual-membranes stretched over a lightweight aluminum frame with a visible profile of less than a half-inch. An exterior Sefar membrane that defuses light, improves acoustics, eliminates
penetration of dust and insects and resists UV light is stretched across the frame.

The inner, unseen layer is an ETFE translucent film also affixed in tension to the frame. The material resists moisture and dirt, meets all fire code requirements and is free of VOCs. In the event of a fire, LightFrame produces very little smoke and dissipate in the air rather than melting or dripping.

During the day, natural light moves across the space, accented with low levels of artificial light from the LightFrame modules. At night, artificial light from below the modules is reflected off of the fabric. The ambiance of clean and quiet warmth is a study in technology for students studying technology.

For more information, visit SEFAR®.

Katherine Carlson is a freelance writer and editor from Minneapolis, Minn.

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