Ron Friedman Lighting Design

University Circle East Building - Cleveland, Ohio

The UCI East Building, a sedate five-storey brick structure in the burgeoning University Circle neighborhood, stands at the confluence of Mayfield Rd. and Euclid Avenue, between Cleveland's Little Italy and University Hospitals. Facing the campus of Case-Western Reserve University, it houses student apartments, ground floor retail, restaurants, and UCI's own Visitors Center.

But according to UCI's VP of Planning & Real Estate, Debbie Berry, and Planning Manager Elise Yablonsky, it was lacking one thing: a vibrant night-time presence to keep pace with the rapid development of the Uptown neighborhood it now occupies.

Although they knew what they wanted to accomplish, they also realized they did not quite know how to get there. For a solution they turned to Ron Friedman of Art & Science Lighting Design.

The project was not simple. There was no landscape bed around the building; only sidewalk. In a busy pedestrian area, light poles were out of the question.

How do you graze a long, curved brick building with limestone ledges, a deep pediment, and a fair number of randomly placed unit air-conditioners? How do you it without building penetrations, using luminaires that must be mounted at the first floor level, sharing a small space with a sign band and some bird's nests.

How do you do this in a way that creates maximum impact and reasonable uniformity, with minimal projection from the building, making the entire project look as if has always been there?

How do you do it on schedule, in the middle of an unpredictable Cleveland winter?

Several computer models, renderings, meetings, and mockups later, the scheme was finished. It consisted of shrouded RGBW uplights, warm white cylinder downlights at the street level, and linear grazers at the three triangular pediments.

Many thanks to Chris Ronayne, Debbie Berry, and Elise Yablonsky of University Circle Inc for their vision, enthusiasm, and collaboration; also to Tom Morgan, Brian Robinette, and Scott Cline of Harrington Electric for patient, intelligent, meticulous craftsmanship

Architect: Art & Science Lighting Design
Photographer: Emily Metzger/Downie Photography:
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