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Potomac, MD

NEW! Take a narrated video tour of this project. project tour

The Bullis School’s LEED Silver Discovery Center is the nucleus of a K-12 school environment that links academic disciplines through technology and flexible learning opportunities. The lighting design reflects this philosophy in its emphasis on transparency, innovation, and flexibility.

At night, the lighting gives the center a strong presence on campus. Recessed, in-grade uplights graze the limestone wall, highlight the school’s seal, and catch the underside of the overhang brow. At the structure’s top, a translucent glass band is back-lit with LEDs to create a crown. This exterior lighting composition, together with the building’s glow from within, lends prominence to the main entrance and makes the entire volume glow.

The Innovation Lab provides the building’s nerve center – a reconfigurable collaboration space with flexible, adaptable lighting that responds to a variety of uses. Inside the Lab, circular “clouds” hang at varying heights under an exposed ceiling, and act as large reflectors for the color-changing ring pendants below them.

Lighting through the Center’s transparent façade reveals the range of interaction and collaboration spaces it houses. These flexible spaces serve equally well for rigorous instruction or informal gathering and socializing. The lighting provides an imaginative response to the building’s architecture and the innovative work done within its walls.


  • LIT Awards - Honorable Mention, Community Building Lighting


Duda|Paine Architects


Robert Benson Photography