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Anchored on a hill overlooking the San Francisco Bay and Golden Gate Bridge, this laboratory houses researchers creating transport fuels from sunlight. Extraordinary views and generous daylighted interiors during the day are coupled with welcoming, quality luminous environments after sunset. With a mission and client devoted to sustainability, efficient lighting sources, fixtures and design were crucial. Daylight harvesting sensors, occupancy sensors and sun control are all utilized to reduce electrical demand and deliver balanced visual comfort to occupants engaged in demanding tasks. Connection to nature and circadian rhythms are supported by the diurnal pattern that shifts from cool daylight to warmer electrical light at dusk. The building is zoned for light. The concrete base houses light-sensitive labs and the taut metal skin above opens for views and abundant daylight in laboratories and offices, casual meeting spaces and work groups. These spaces balance daylight from windows with skylights, direct/indirect pendants and direct pendants.



Berkeley, CA

Occupied, 2015
2017 SF LUX Award for Energy and Environmental Lighting Design.
IES San Francisco Section






lobbyMain lobby. Abundant daylight from skylights and east windows allows electric lighting to remain off during the day. The illuminated box (right) serves for display and events.


lobby wallMain lobby. A back lit glass whiteboard is architecturally integrated into a double height feature wall illuminated by skylights in the day and recessed lights at night.


Typical laboratory space. Wide upward batwing distribution from direct/ indirect pendants provide diffuse light. Direct light is from 45 degree cut-off pendants and customized under shelf task lights.

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labBelow-grade laser lab houses light-sensitive research with wayfinding provided by recessed lines of light in the floor.

Top image: Main lobby facade.

Photographs by Bruce Damonte.