05. Aug 2010

No. 72 – Daylight design in museums

Jun/Jul 2010

Brandhorst Museum in Munich/D
A work of art for works of art
Text: Arup Lighting
Effective lighting is essential to the success of any art display space and the use of natural light can add substantially to visitor enjoyment. Natural light is often the preferred option for rooms where paintings and sculptures are displayed. The variability of daylight can be an asset, altering the ambience of gallery interiors so they are subtly different on each occasion a visitor walks around. All these aspects have been addressed in the Brandhorst Museum in Munich.

New Acropolis Museum in Athens/GR
Pure unadulterated art
Text: Arup Lighting, Alison Ritter
It may not be one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, but the Acropolis in Athens would probably be recognized by your average schoolboy anywhere, and acknowledged by extra-terrestrial life forms as one of the blue planet’s most famous set of ruins. Among architects and lighting designers the Parthenon itself, the most important surviving building of Classical Greece, is often quoted as being a fine example of daylight architecture, which made it practically compulsory to have daylight as the prime source of light for the exhibits in the New Acropolis Museum. The museum directors expressly wanted the ancient art pieces to be viewed under the same lighting conditions as they had been 2600years before: pure, unadulterated art.

Designing with daylight
Light in the public realm
Text: James Carpenter
Light phenomena occur around us at every moment, and every moment of ephemeral light informs our conscious and subconscious observations. It is the distractions of our urban environment that suppress our ability to observe them. Over forty years of experience, beginning as an artist, working with glass, exploring film installations and light and then working with glass scientists and manufacturers and eventually working with engineers and architects I have developed an approach that aims to consider daylight as a public resource. My firm, James Carpenter Design Associates and I, apply the full extent of our cross-disciplinary experience to the design of complete architectural projects.

A new era in museum design
The renaissance of daylight
Text: Prof. Dr. Heinrich Kramer, FPLDA
Well known art collections and museums attract tourists and increase a city’s revenue. A number of prime examples spring to mind: the Louvre in Paris, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the British Museum in London, the Prado in Madrid, the Guggenheim in New York, the Uffizi in Florence, the National Museum in Cairo, to name but a few. For that reason, many towns and cities have invested in expanding their museums, or even building new ones.

Frankfurt’s LED-Light-District
The main topic at Light + Building 2010: LEDs
Text: Joachim Ritter
Everyone was expecting Light + Building 2010 to be different from the fairs of by gone years. The economic crisis on the one hand, and the topic of LEDs on the other, made the industry both hopeful and concerned. At the end of the day, the extent of the euphoria generated by LEDs was surprising if not overwhelming. The state of the global economy clearly took aback seat – one might even go as far as to say that many manufacturers were consciously closing their eyes to reality and holding the LED high as a beacon of hope to get us all out of the admittedly bleak last few months. It remains to be seen whether the tiny light sources will create as bright a future as many were promising. Amazingly enough, even leading manufacturers had not always done their homework when it came to the technical details behind LEDs…

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