New Exterior Lighting

The design for the 10,000-sf exterior renovation of the City of St. Charles’ landmark Municipal Building utilized sustainable principles to form a compositional hierarchy that accentuates historic architectural elements while creating harmony and balance.

The existing lighting was over-lit with HPS and metal halide floods. The challenge was to redesign the lighting to reduce energy, enhance maintenance, and enrich architectural details.

The design challenges were met by utilizing an all-LED solution which strategically highlights architectural elements. Managing the budget was accomplished through careful design selection, reuse of the existing wiring and controls (photocell and astronomic time clock), and by a state grant for energy-use reduction. Through careful layout and lamp selection, the design, following IECC 2012, reduced energy consumption by a substantial 64%, allowing for a reasonable payback period.

Historic photos revealed that the design team’s concept directly related to the building’s original lighting design. During mockups with the historic society, 3,000k CCT was selected as a balance between enhancing building surfaces while relating to the original incandescent sources.

Directional 7-degree spots highlight the fluted columns and create interest while showcasing the stained glass windows. Linear grazing at the clock level accentuates and punches the architectural relief while pointing toward the existing color-changing illuminated pinnacle.

Two rows of continuous linear lighting under the canopy and one around the soffit at the mayor’s office subtly add balance and illuminate the lower plane of the building. Mini bollards in the planters add another plane of illumination while connecting the design to existing bollards at the waterfront.

Additional linear grazing at the wall reliefs and signage, as well as directional spots at the corners, creates balance. The project’s sustainable principles and harmonic compositions speak to the past and future by showcasing the historic nature of this landmark in a forward-thinking, energy and maintenance-saving manner.

City of St. Charles
St. Charles, IL
Services Provided

Architectural Lighting