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Retail River Mill Antique Mall
 

Illuminaire Fixtures help set River Mill
Antique Mall apart from the competition

When the historic facility that houses the new River Mill Antique Mall in Bibb City, Georgia was recently renovated, architect Mark Renner wanted to differentiate this mall from other antique stores in the area.

“Because this is a high-end facility, we wanted it to stand out from the other retail stores,” said Renner, project manager, Barnes & Company Architects, Columbus, Georgia. “It was important to create the perception that this mall is unique and it offers high quality merchandise.”

The mall, which includes individual vendor booths, offers antique furniture, hand-painted china, hand-woven Turkish rugs and various collectibles. Until about four years ago, the building was home to a functional textile mill that was once the largest textile manufacturing facility in the world, the Bibb Mill.

To make the transition from an industrial complex to a retail facility, the interior of the structure was sandblasted and gutted to reveal the red brick walls and exposed timber ceiling that were part of the original 1890s structure. Phase I of the project included renovating 30,000 square feet of showroom space and an adjoining coffee shop that overlooks the scenic Chattahoochee River.

As part of the renovation, a lighting system was needed that would complement the historic feel of the space while providing sufficient levels of illumination to draw customer attention to the merchandise.

“The quality of the illumination was as important as the light level,” said Renner. “While we wanted luminaires that would appear attractive, we wanted something simple that would keep customers’ eyes focused on the merchandise rather than the lighting fixtures.”

Renner specified new borosilicate glass Illuminaire® fixtures with egg-shaped optics and integral ballasts from Holophane. To confirm that the luminaires would meet the facility’s specific needs, one fixtures with 400-watt ceramic metal halide lamps were installed in the showroom on a trial basis. The fixtures provide 30 percent uplight to illuminate the wood beam ceiling.

“At one time, I considered using fixtures with 100 percent downlight and keeping the ceiling totally dark” said Renner. “But the space is so spectacular that I wanted to show off the ceiling because it is such an important part of this historic structure.”

Fifty-four Illuminaire fixtures were pendant mounted at 14 to 16 feet on the sloping ceiling. The fixtures use 400-watt ceramic metal halide lamps and are spaced 20 feet on center between the exposed timbers—although the spacing varies according to the layout of the individual booths. Illumination levels are 40 to 45 footcandles.

“The color and beauty of the individual antiques are what sells the pieces,” said Renner. “The ceramic lamp has a high color rendering index (CRI), which makes the colors appear bright and true.”

Renner said he chose the Illuminaire fixtures not only because of their appearance, but the short lead time required to get the luminaires to the site. Renovation of Phase I began in February, with the River Mill Antique Mall opening in mid-May.

“We were on a tight schedule from beginning to end,” Renner confirmed.

A compact version of the Illuminaire fixture with an egg-shaped optic was installed in the seating area of the coffee shop. The luminaires are pendant mounted and used as wall sconces in the 20’ x 40’ space, which has a 14-foot ceiling.

With Phase I of the project complete, renovation of the 30,000-square-foot space that comprises Phase II is underway. Illuminaire fixtures will be installed this area.

“The lighting has helped make the Phase I space what it is,” said Renner. “While the fixtures show off the merchandise, they almost ‘go away’ from a visual standpoint. They are simplistic, yet they accent the historic architecture.”




 

 
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