Infinite Illuminations

Kariouk Associates’ Dynamic Conference Room Design Provides Boundless Lighting Possibilities

Briefed to make a teleconference space for a company that manufactures advanced exterior glass systems, Kariouk Associates chose not to go for the obvious options.

‘We deliberately didn’t want to use glass as that seemed too obvious,’ Paul duBellet Kariouk of Kariouk Associates told us. ‘We chose to work with light directly.’

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The dynamic space, which is designed to accommodate both professional and casual work situations, makes use of a complex system of LED lighting. The playful light scenes range from soft, natural daylight, to elaborate combinations. The walls and ceilings of this 500 sq Verval Ltée conference facility in Gatineau, Quebec, are dematerialized and the original boundaries are made ambiguous. Paul told us more about the design.

The Plus: What is the style you were going for in this design?
Paul duBellet Kariouk:
I would say that it’s both extremely ‘professional’ and at times extremely ‘personal’ and ‘playful’, and everything in between. The color, tones, hues, intensity of all the surfaces as well as the monitors have infinite flexibility and can be adjusted to any atmosphere required for a serious meeting, conference, or for Friday beers.

TP: What is your favorite feature of the room?
PdK:
The project was actually extremely difficult to achieve, as there are innumerable complications in working with light in this way. But the part I like best is that when you are in the space it is striking because it seems so simple. The room catches people off-guard, as they can’t see any fasteners or frames or light sources and the zones can have extremely subtle gradations even across a single zone and so the effect is magical.

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TP: How does the lighting work?
PdK:
There are tens of thousands of LED lights set behind the white, translucent ‘film’ and the combinations of the light yield any color. The aspect that required a great deal of prototyping was our desire to have any adjacent zones that might have different lighting conditions meet with a perfect edge; normally in these applications two zones are separated by a shadow line and/or a blurry edge — we invented a way for two colors to touch with zero ‘contamination’ of zones.

Materials

Room: Synthetic fabric, LED lighting blankets, steel armature, ceramic, TV monitors, electric switch-glass
Table: Laminated glass, welded steel legs with polished chrome sleeves

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PHOTO CREDITS: Photolux Studios (Christian Lalonde)

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