20. Sep 2009

No. 68 – Cultural buildings

Sept/Oct 2009

A light drama in three acts
The Royal Playhouse in Copenhagen/DK
Text: David Müller
“All the world’s a stage”, Shakespeare claimed. When Hamlet was performed at the opening of Copenhagen’s new theatre one thing was apparent to all present: what a fantastic theatre! The stage itself is truly unique. The lighting concept for the Royal Playhouse was designed by Jesper Kongshaug. This was the biggest architectural project to date for the Dane, who began his lighting design career in stage lighting. Kongshaug has transformed the architectural structure into a drama in three acts: using the outdoor area, the foyer and the auditorium as a stage, not just to achieve lighting solutions in these areas, but to create scenarios with references to nature and the environment. The rest is pure enjoyment and silence!

Meteorite in a blue cage
Danish Radio Concert Hall: yet another magnificent cultural project for Copenhagen/DK
Text: Prof. Susanne Brenninkmeijer
The design of the Danish Radio Concert Hall in Copenhagen/DK shows us that architect Jean Nouvel – besides all the other things he does – reads novels. The new building was to look like the meteorite that fell out of the sky in Peter Høeg’s award-winning book “Miss Smilla’s Feeling for Snow”. The clients could not have been more stunned if they had witnessed the meteorite landing themselves – the costs for what is now rated as the most expensive concert hall in the world doubled during the construction phase. Whether this huge investment was worth it remains to be seen. One thing is for sure: after the building of the new opera house and the new extension to the Royal Library, Copenhagen has acquired yet another valuable cultural asset – and a further architectural jewel for the world to marvel at. The Danish Radio Concert Hall comprises another exemplary project from light artist Yann Kersalé, which will provide the lighting community with food for thought and perhaps even controversial debate.

Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha/QT
Text: David Müller
In the course of his long career, 92-year-old architect Ieoh Ming Pei has designed a number of remarkable projects. The Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha, Qatar, was a totally new experience for the renowned American architect. No costs or efforts were spared to create a real jewel for the city directly on the Persian Gulf. The lighting design practices Fisher Marantz Stone and Isometrix, respectively, were commissioned to design the exterior and interior lighting. Would they be able to give Pei’s ‘rough diamond’ the final sparkle it deserved?

Light Emitting Dreams
Dreams made of light: LEDs as a vision of the future
Text and images: Sam Neuman
The ‘future’ of lighting is a topic that has always interested me. This article is a development of a theme that I often consider and a personal thought piece which aims to provoke ideas from anyone interested in lighting and the urban environment. Through logical reasoning this article will try to imagine what lighting developments will take place and what the electrically illuminated world might look like 25 years from now. To help give the article some grounding, I undertook research and carried out a workshop with other lighting designers in an aim to arrive at real and sensible possibilities. However, some of the suggestions may not be so real or sensible! The article takes the form of a Lighting Designer Blog set 25 years from now in 2034 and takes snap shots looking at a number of different future life scenarios and possible projects.

Light art using artificial light
About the history, development and the meaning of light in the field of art
Text: Herbert Cybulska
The technique and the ideology of stage lighting found their way into architectural lighting long ago. In fact, this is where its origins are. The inspiration that architectural lighting designers have drawn from light art is well known. The influences that light art has found in architectural and stage lighting are obvious. In this article Herbert Cybulska, experienced photographer, stage lighting designer and architectural lighting designer – all three disciplines pursued with passion and a leaning to the artistic – describes the correlations between electric light and light art.


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