Lighting a Celestial Stage

Color-changing Hypnotica enhances stargazing at renovated space center.

Located on the campus of San Antonio College, the recently expanded and renovated Scobee Education Center showcases San Antonio’s heritage and future as an aerospace hub, as well as the wonders of space and career opportunities in aerospace engineering, science and technology.

The center includes the Scobee Planetarium, an icon in the community for more than 50 years. As part of the project, the Planetarium was expanded from one-and-a-half stories to three stories and now includes an observation deck, where nighttime stargazing events connect students and the city’s citizens with the universe.

During such events, iLight’s color-changing Hypnotica LED fixtures glow around the perimeter of the deck. Installed inches above the ground, they serve as an energizing and modern design element, while also providing appropriate illumination.

(All photos courtesy of iLight)

The Design Challenge

A key consideration was keeping light levels low enough to preserve night vision, so that guests could best view the starlight overhead. While Hypnotica fixtures do provide an exceptionally bright glow, they also can be set at low light levels — making them the right choice for this project, says Robert Moritz, Associate/Design Lead at Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects, Inc. Also, thanks to an array of programming options, Hypnotica can set a mood with color, depending on the season or holiday.

Moritz adds that the fixtures coordinate well with other lighting in the space as well as the overall project design, with its many sculptural elements. Among those is the Challenger Learning Center, an education-focused addition created by Challenger families — one of several such centers located around the world. The Scobee Education Center is named for Francis “Dick” Scobee, Challenger commander, and his wife, June Scobee Rodgers.

“It’s exciting once you see the Hypnotica in place.”

 - Robert Moritz Associate/Design Lead Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects, Inc..

The Hypnotica Advantage

For such a complex project, it was an advantage that installation of the Hypnotica fixtures went very smoothly.

“It’s exciting once you see the Hypnotica in place,” says Moritz, who had never specified the product before.

As part of the 2015 AIA San Antonio Design Awards, the Scobee Education Center and Durand-Hollis Rupe Architects, Inc. recently received The Mayor’s Choice Award for publicly funded projects.

iLight is proud to have contributed to this exciting place for inspiration and learning.

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