Project team:

Architect: Daniel Libeskind, New York City, NY/USA
Lighting design: Auerbach Glasow French, San Francisco, CA/USA

 

Products applied:

Track lighting: Lighting Services, Inc.
Linear fluorescent slot downlight: Focal Point
Pendant indirect/direct linear fluorescent: Focal Point
Beam-mounted uplight: Insight
Unitrack integrated uplight in Yud: Belfer
Fluorescent cove for PaRDes wall: Bartco
CFL and MR16 downlights: Prescolite
Adjustable T4 downlight: Kurt Versen
Low-voltage rail light: Bruck
Theatrical lighting fixture: ETC
Steplight: Bega
Central dimming system: Strand Lighting
Local dimming system in board and activity rooms: Lutron
Intelligent switching system: Watt Stopper (system designed by Silverman & Light)

07. Mar 2009

To life!

Text: David Müller
Potos:CJM

Saturday, June 7, 2008: rock’n’roll bands, comedians and DJs have come from all over the United States to San Francisco’s downtown. Why? It is the night of the Grand Opening of the new Contemporary Jewish Museum. The cultural centre was designed by architect Daniel Libeskind and is, in fact, his first project in North America. It has taken ten years to convert an old power substation into a place to house modern Jewish culture and art. The result: an exciting facility that, with its stunning architecture and a great lighting concept developed by Auerbach Glasow French, literally says “Yes” to life.

The CJM (Contemporary Jewish Museum) is situated in the heart of San Francisco’s downtown, the cultural centre of the city. Next to various galleries, modern bars and restaurants there are twelve art museums in the area. Before the CJM was built, the site housed an old power substation. It had been built in 1881, but due to an earthquake in 1906 it had to be redesigned by architect Willis Polk. He gave the dwelling its dominant features, such as a massive archway which leads into the museum’s lobby. Until the 1960’s it was used as a power substation with hundreds of people working there. However, when the company moved out, the building stood empty for years. The theme life already becomes evident when looking at the architecture from the outside or – better still – from above. Libeskind created two forms which divide the main building. They resemble the Hebrew letters “Yud” and “Chet” which, combined, stand for the word “Chai” – in English, life. Another fascinating feature is the cladding of the new building. Over 3,000 blue steel panels were individually installed on the unique cross-hatching of the new part of the building. The blue colour of the panels was created through a process called “interference-coating”. It does not use any paint or pigments, which ensures that the blue colour will never fade or chalk. Because of the path of the sun the surface of the building appears to be constantly changing its colour throughout the day – making it seem even more dynamic and filled with life. The complex comprises two galleries that exhibit modern, Jewish artworks, a centre of learning about Jews and their history, an event room, a café and a souvenir shop. […]

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The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 65

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