St. Bernard Library: Using Custom Graphics to Highlight and InspireJanuary 2019

At the children’s play and lounge areas of the St. Bernard branch of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton county, hang 28” drum pendants with words that amuse and inspire.  Champlin Architecture’s Christine Madden worked closely with the library team in executing the design details for a welcoming, whimsical, and curious environment for children’s exploration.  Together, they came up with the use of custom graphics as a highlight communication piece.

“The director, herself, thought it would be playful to use words that are customarily associated with libraries as well as those that depict a love of books,” recalls Christine. Words like “shhh”, “love books”, “time”, among others. Where these words will be placed is just as important.  The appropriate design needed to encourage the children even as they may lie on the floor and look up, as the two-story building has a tall ceiling.  Complementing the height is the abundance of floor-to-ceiling glass windows.

The answer:  display them on unobtrusive yet eye catching luminaire pendants.  This is where Lumetta’s custom capabilities fit perfectly.  Lumetta produced multiple Lite drum pendants  modified in height: 12” D x 28” H,  with white acrylic top and etched white bottom lenses, carrying custom printed graphics. These luminaires were staggered in plan and elevation to fill the volume of the light-filled spaces.  “At night, the custom pendants appear as beacon-like lanterns as viewed from the street. As such, children’s curiosity is captured while providing a sense of levity for the adults.”

King Lighting is the preferred agency for this project.
Photography by Ryan Kurtz