Wereldmuseum, Rotterdam

Wereldmuseum Rotterdam asked us for the lighting design for their semi-permanent exhibition ‘Kruispunt Rotterdam’. We made a lighting design for the rail layout and the museum spots and additional to this basic design we designed the lighting in the display boxes as well. The exhibition extends over four rooms and the entrance area.

The idea for the exhibition was ‘raw and colorful Rotterdam’. An exhibition about the diversity of the inhabitants of Rotterdam through the ages. Which was exposition wise translated in an open ceiling, where you can see the construction and installation elements and colorful showcases in the exhibition, in which you can also see the construction. Besides that, the not covered windows connect the diverse exhibition directly to the city.

For the basic lighting structure at the ceiling we placed the rails as efficient as possible, to light out all the objects from above. Since the installation and construction elements were all visible at the ceiling, it was important to chose a fixture which doesn’t attract the attention, because the museum objects should draw the attention, not the ceiling.
Together with the museum with did some tests onsite to check the color rendering, the glare and the dim options of several fixtures. Since the exhibition would be very colorful, the spectral composition of the fixtures was very important. The chosen fixtures give a calm, comfortable feeling, not blinding the visitors or drawing the attention to the ceiling.

Some of the art objects are sensitive for light damage, so we had to limit the amount of lux and the time the art will be exposed to light. The chosen solution is that the light shining on those artefacts will only turn on when there are visitors in the room. The fixtures are equipped with blue tooth connectors which communicate with motion sensors. The settings of the sensors have been set in such a way that the visitors never notice the lights turn on or off.

The light inside the colorful showcases which are very important for the look and feel of the exhibition have been designed in close cooperation with the manufacturer. Because we used blank material, the colored light inside gives the boxes their color. The advantages of this solution are that maintenance is cheaper, only one color material has to be held on stock, and the boxes can be used for other art pieces or exhibition, since the color can easily be adapted. The range of colors is endless. Everything you can make of RGB, even pastel shades.

Photos: Mike Bink Fotografie