Heide Museum of Modern Art Melbourne, Australia Client Heide Gallery Architect O’Connor and Houle Lighting Design Electrolight Engineer Connell Wagner Manufacturer Erco, Iguzzini, Moonlight Completion date 2006
Photographer Shannon McGrath www. shannonmcgrath.com
Heide Museum of Modern Art is a prominent Australian venue for the presentation of 20th-and 21st-century art. Originating as the home of John and Sunday Reed and the centre of a vibrant artistic community in the mid-20th century, Heide is now a public art museum that continues their legacy and promotes the practice of contemporary art. Now much larger than the Reed’s original house, Heide comprises four galleries: Heide II, the award-winning 1960s modernist house/gallery by McGlashan and Everist; Peddle Thorp and Walker’s Heide III, completed in 1993; and the Albert and Barbara Tucker Gallery, which O’Connor and Houle Architecture completed in 2006. Architects O’Connor and Houle were also asked to direct the redevelopment and extensive expansion of Heide III. Located in parkland in a far northeast suburb of Melbourne, the grounds extend to the banks of the Yarra River and include gardens filled with modernist sculptures. The brief given to the architects responsible for Heide II asked for a ‘gallery to be lived in’: a building that would create a framed experience of the estate from within. Heide II is recognized as a foremost example of Australian post-war modernist architecture. Electrolight was commissioned to design a unique lighting scheme for both the redeveloped areas of Heide III and the new Tucker Gallery. Exploring the numerous parameters within the traditional formulaic pattern of lighting art displayed in galleries, the lighting designers illuminated the works of art – both two-dimensional pieces on walls and three-dimensional pieces on walls and floor – from favourable angles for optimal viewing. Electrolight’s system transcends standard lighting techniques, however. Rather than focusing a single beam of light on each piece of art and leaving surrounding areas dark, Electrolight used a combination of wallwashers and spotlights, allowing the contrast between the art and the walls to be determined by curators on a show-by-show basis. Integrating the scheme into an architecture which limited positions available for track lighting to lines that were neither parallel nor horizontal to the walls proved to be a challenge for the designers. As a result, track lighting follows the ridge-and-valley arrangement of the ceiling and runs diagonally across the room, initially creating problems for designers trying to achieve uniform wallwashed lighting and to attain ideal angles for illuminating artworks. Detailed computer models of the room were generated to determine the implications of mounting luminaires restricted to constrained positions. The models also assisted the lighting designers in selecting luminaires that would be well suited to the track-lighting locations. Drawing daylight into the interior from the south,
the skewed sawtooth roof creates a pleasant environment for viewing exhibitions. In order to control the amount and quality of natural light entering the space, comprehensive daylight studies were performed prior to the installation of the roof. Fitted with blinds to control the ingress of daylight, the end wall of theTucker Gallery features a large window, with views of the Sir Rupert Hamer Garden to the southwest. A landscaped sculpture plaza to the southeast of the new wing of Heide III houses numerous sculptures and water features and connects to the car park, located beside a landscaped embankment where Inge King’s large sculpture, Rings of Saturn, stands. The area is lit with a series of glowing spheres that allude to the satellites of the King sculpture. The overall effect is subtle and avoids the use of floodlights. Utilizing the gallery’s natural surroundings, exterior lighting was achieved by fixing lamps into a nearby eucalyptus tree, negating the need for poles. Atmospheric shadows are cast through the boughs and foliage, creating a dappled effect across the outdoor space with a strong distinction between the scene by day and by night. The lack of floodlights permitted Electrolight to play up distinct elements of the exterior environment with the use of delicate highlights.
Published on Apr 24, 2008
Published on Apr 24, 2008
Bright features 38 exterior lighting design from around the wordl. Challenging projects from toplevvel manufacturers, designers and artists...