• John Hay Library, Brown University

    John Hay Library, Brown University - Providence, RI

  • John Hay Library, Brown University

    John Hay Library, Brown University - Main Reading Room

  • John Hay Library, Brown University

    John Hay Library, Brown University - Custom LED Reflector Pendants

  • Custom Lighting by Crenshaw for John Hay Library, Brown University

    John Hay Library, Brown University - Custom Lighting by Crenshaw

  • John Hay Library, Brown University

    John Hay Library, Brown University - Providence, RI

John Hay Library, Brown University, Providence, RI

Architect: Selldorf Architects

The pendants’ almost century-old design was reinterpreted in a cleaner, more contemporary style and fitted with a highly engineered, 40,000-lumen LED system of aimable uplights.

Crenshaw worked with Selldorf Architects to design the decorative lighting for the renovation of Brown University’s John Hay Library Main Reading Room. The collection of fixtures Crenshaw provided included a bowl pendant, stack lights, and a table lamp. The bright light levels expected of a reading room were delivered primarily through solid state LED.

The centerpiece of the lighting design is a custom reflector bowl pendant based on original historic fixtures which illuminated the library’s reading room in the early part of the 20th century. These pendants were originally suspended by a pulley chain and counterweight system and ornamented with cast acanthus leaf decorations. The university wanted to see this fixture re-imagined in a clean, contemporary classical style. Although simplified in form, the bowl pendant Crenshaw created is monumental in scale and quality: it is constructed of solid, heavy-gauge brass with a solid, machined faux counterweight; features half-round bead detailing around the large spun bowl; and finished in a hand-applied, dark oil-rubbed bronze patina. The fixtures weigh nearly 200 pounds each and are fitted with a highly-engineered, 40,000-lumen, 97-CRI, 3000K LED system of aimable uplights to highlight the coffered ceilings and provide ambient lighting.

The adjustable stack lights are constructed of solid brass as well and finished in a warm, aged brass patina finish. Sleek and low-profile, they deliver 1,200 lumens per linear foot in solid state LED. A table lamp, inspired by a 1950s vintage lamp, completes the collection.

Crenshaw is honored to have worked with Selldorf Architects, whose attention to detail has resulted in a very special reading room.