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St. Edwards University - Munday Library and Learning Commons

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SEFAR Architecture, SEFAR® Architecture

Project Name

St. Edwards University - Munday Library and Learning Commons


3001 S Congress Ave


Project Status


Year Completed



St. Edwards University

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Project Description

When renovating and building onto an existing library at St. Edwards University in Austin, TX, Sasaki Associates designed a cohesive, elegant interior with help from SEFAR LIGHTFRAME®.

LIGHTFRAME, an illuminated modular fabric ceiling system, provides evenly distributed, beautifully muted light above the multi-story Munday Library and Learning Commons. The result is a modern classroom setting and technology hub for the university – underneath SEFAR LIGHTFRAME®.

Built to optimize daylight, both the eastern and western facing ends of the structure provide views to their respective landscapes. During the day, natural light elegantly moves across the space, accented with low levels of artificial light from the LightFrame modules. At night, artificial light from below the LIGHTFRAME modules is reflected off of the fabric. This indirect lighting provides a warm and rich, but still productive environment.

Sasaki Associates carefully studied the translucency and the profiles of a number of building products and came to the conclusion that LIGHTFRAME was the only product that could create the ideal relaxed and refined learning environment.

“LIGHTFRAME is such an elegant system. It evenly distributes and beautifully diffuses light, all with extremely thin extrusions and strong, durable fabric,” says Thomas Simister, Senior Associate at Sasaki Associates. “SEFAR delivers LIGHTFRAME as a turn-key product, but with the look and feel of a highly customized solution.”

LIGHTFRAME's unique secondary membrane allows it to diffuse light while improving acoustics. The dual membrane system prevents the penetration of debris and bugs that hinder the visual impact of other translucent ceiling products. The dual skin system is airtight and eliminates penetration of dust and insects on the fabric membrane, which can inhibit the transference of light over time.

LIGHTFRAME also provides improved acoustics and long-lasting resistance to UV light. The low-maintenance material resists moisture and dirt, meets all fire code requirements, and is free of VOCs. In the event of a fire, the membranes used with SEFAR LIGHTFRAME produce very little smoke and instead of dripping, they dissipate.

The Munday Library and Learning Commons was completed in August 2013. The project team included architect Sasaki Associates, Watertown, MA and general contractor VRW Construction, Austin, TX.
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