Hancher Auditorium, University of Iowa

CompanyCline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design
Lead DesignerCline Bettridge Bernstein Lighting Design (Francesca Bettridge, Michael Hennes, Nira Wattanachote, Glenn Fujimura)
CategoryEnergy Saving Lighting / Exterior Architectural Illumination
DateOctober 2016
LocationIowa City, IA, United States
Lighting for this new university arts center presented three challenges. The building had to express a synergy between landscape and structure; create a welcoming and stimulating environment; and fulfil the school’s desire for something unexpected and exciting. Meticulously arrayed custom downlights reinforce the flowing aspect of the riverside setting. They connect the outside to the inside, drawing patrons into a soaring atrium. Despite campus restrictions prohibiting exterior floodlighting, the solution imparts an inviting presence to the building. Within the main performance hall, monumental custom ring fixtures feature glowing lenses and decorative, illuminated points that can be programmed to sparkle and chase. Innovative front-of-balcony lighting makes the house sparkle and glow. The lighting provides a narrative: anticipation on approaching the glowing building; excitement upon entering a light-filled atrium; and awe in experiencing the theater’s animated lighting composition.