"Light Arrival" Sunroom Ceiling

PrizeWinner in Interior Design / Rooms and Zones
Firm LocationCrystal Lake, United States
CompanyFlynn Architecture & Design
Lead ArchitectMatthew Flynn
Design Team

Tired of humid summers and depressing winters, the clients requested an uplifting sunroom, full of light, enjoyable year-round. The architect desired a fluid presence to soften the rectilinear space. The result: a three-dimensional, curvilinear, translucent, backlit, full-room suspended ceiling. During daytime, the translucent acrylic glows softly by capturing reflected light, enhancing the sculptural contrast. Casting even illumination across the ceiling was fundamental at nighttime. To avoid hotspots and falloff, a large, uniform lighting array was needed. Inexpensive, low-voltage LED tape strips, having dense diode spacing, blend a fuller light spectrum by alternating between 3100K and 4000K color temperatures. Dimmers provide client adjustability for bright, cool evenings or cozy, warm nights. Scattering indirect illumination to avoid shadows was critical to success. Eschewing opaque formwork, a tab and slot L-panel system was devised, hanging each sculptural piece by two thin suspension wires. Still, direct downlighting would have cast thousands of wire shadows onto the translucent acrylic. Instead, aiming upwards, the LEDs float between the roof and the sculptural ceiling on vented, clear acrylic sheets. This converts the roof’s underside into a massive lightbox that disperses direct rays off its flat white paint, eliminates cast shadows, and radiates soft light to the room below.