22nd December 2017
Lighting design and planning for museums and galleries requires more than just upgrading the lighting for the art on display.
Collecting, conserving, researching and exhibiting – these keystones of museum activities were established more than 200 years ago as part of the European Enlightenment and characterise work in public museums, galleries and private collections up to the current day.
Museum lighting needs to fulfill a variety of requirements: in every project designers are faced with the challenge of bringing together standard specifications, economic targets, constructional conditions and design aspects into a single concept. The range of tasks far exceeds typical exhibition spaces—beginning outside with the access area, facades and outdoor exhibits and including the foyer, café and shop, as well as the actual visit to the museum.
A theoretical model of lighting functions helps to evaluate the quality of lighting not just according to purely quantitative criteria such as illuminance figures. It separates lighting from the static room cubature to focus on the utilisation of a spatial situation. This form of zoning allows individual tasks to be identified: should a room welcome, invite to discover, protect culture, entertain, or provide a location to stay and browse?
At the start of each lighting project it makes sense for lighting designers to ask the following three questions for each required functional area:
1. Which cultural, architectural or functional importance does the room or spatial zone have?
2. Which tasks in a museum can lighting adopt to optimise the display of cultural assets?.
3. Which individual lighting strategy and methods of lighting are suitable as the basis for lighting design?
Upgrading to high-quality LED lighting throughout means that all of the spaces in galleries and museums become a part of the qualitative cultural brand.
Let's have a conversation today about your Museum or Gallery lighting project: Contact Us.
Lighting used in this project:
Projection and reflection: what is the difference?
To the team at the Western Australia Art Gallery for their continued support on what has been a fantastic opportunity to reinvigorate, regenerate and re-illuminate WA finest art