Project team:

Client: Fondation Vincent Van Gogh d’Arles
Architects : Fluor Architecture
Lighting design: Wonderfulight
Daylight consultants: Ingelux Consultants

Products applied:

Micro-projectors in the gift shop, Zumtobel
Track-mounted LED projectors in main exhibition hall, Erco
Semi-recessed lines of light, XAL
Batten luminaires integrated into the skylights, Zumtobel

22. May 2015


Text: Joachim Ritter
Photos: Hervé Hôte, Fluor Architecture, Wonderfulight

Light and painting are closely linked. And yet museum or gallery design and lighting design sometimes do not appear to correlate. This does not apply to the museum renovated by the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation in Arles/F, where even some of the lighting effects look as if they were painted.

The art of painting is a serious matter. This is particularly true of grand masters such as Rembrandt or Caravaggio, whose works were indeed exceedingly dark, if not gloomy. But when you take a Post-Impressionist painter such as Vincent Willem van Gogh, you quickly fathom that at a specific point in time darkness and gloom were replaced by the abundant use of colour. That did not make painting any less serious, but a little easier to digest maybe. The attempt to depict this with light in a building dedicated to van Gogh is no small challenge. To manage this task with obvious brilliance is maybe also an art. Especially when you consider the technical and energy efficiency requirements that lighting design is expected to meet today – demands whose complexity is increasing on a practically daily basis. In spring 2014, after significant renovation work, the Vincent Van Gogh Arles foundation re-opened its doors in the Hotel Léautaud de Donines buildings. The goal of the foundation is to celebrate the value of van Gogh’s artistic heritage and explore the echo of his work in the contemporary art through temporary exhibitions. The lighting designers commissioned for this project consulted with the architects to find suitable design solutions for specific areas such the exhibitions spaces and public zones such as corridors, stairs, the patio and the gift shop. The renovated Léautaud de Donines mansion is indeed a highly original artistic project: it summons the genius of van Gogh through the works of twentieth and twenty-first century artists, but in an historic location in the heart of an area frequently painted by the master and listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site. […]


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 97

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