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  • Wellesley College Science Complex

Use catenary lighting when you need improved visual guidance and purposeful light

Wellesley College Science Complex

Wellesley, MA

Wellesley College with the help of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM) and Brandston Partnership Inc. (BPI), transformed an outdated science center into an appealing and sustainable center for teachers and students to work and cultivate. The goal was to reimagine the science center for the 21st century. The Wellesley College Science Center is comprised of four buildings: the Margaret Fergusson Greenhouses; Sage Hall; the Laboratory Wing; and the E-wing. The Science Center serves as the home of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics at Wellesley College, and houses all the science departments and programs offered at the College.

“A ‘machine to learn in’ was the antithesis of the Wellesley spirit,” says Colin Koop, design partner at SOM in charge of the project. “So we came up with the idea of a village for science. It’s turned a place no one wanted to be into the ultimate place on campus to come and study.”

The redesign, which was completed in 2022, involved renovating and interlacing multiple existing buildings as well as adding a new 100,000 square foot addition that included classrooms, offices, wet and dry labs, and a teaching greenhouse. The addition is connected to the rest of the science center through an open hub. With the help of Brandston Partnership Inc., it was decided that this space would benefit from lighting positioned on cables, exactly where it was needed, creating both a focal point and dramatic shadow. Selux Lanova catenary lighting allowed the lighting designers at BPI unparalleled flexibility by hanging the luminaires from cables and mounting to either side of the buiding. This eliminated the need for poles and created a more open concept, allowing for a high volume of foot traffic and minimal disruption.

architect Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP

specifier Brandston Partnership Inc.

client/owner Wellesley College

certification LEED Platinum Certified

photographer Dave Burk © SOM

video Lucas Blair Simpson © SOM

agent Apex Lighting

Photographer Dave Burk © SOM
Photographer Dave Burk © SOM

Take a look at Wellesley College Science Complex Lighting before Selux Lanova was installed. Not only did they recieve a modern look but they also recieved excellent visibility, enhanced safety and security in a large public area.


Photo courtesy of BPI


Photo courtesy of BPI

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