NATURAL LIGHTING PERFORMANCE IN ADAPTIVE REUSE ART GALLERIES

Abstract

 

Light is the most important element in art display institutions, with natural light even more valued due to the dynamism and vibrance associated with it. It is therefore of uttermost importance that natural light is well captured, filtered and manipulated to create ideal viewing environments while maintaining the integrity of exhibited works. Unfortunately, this is not the case with adaptive reuse art galleries where spaces designed for various other uses are adapted in order to suit art viewing functions. There is little or no consideration for natural light and as a result the exhibits are either under lit or prompt the use of expensive and environmentally unsustainable artificial lighting.

The objectives of this study are to investigate sources of natural lighting in art galleries in adaptive reuse buildings, to analyze the natural lighting conditions in art galleries in adaptive reuse buildings with respect to display and conservation requirements and to determine the effect of diurnal change in natural lighting conditions on exhibits in adaptive reuse art galleries. As daylighting in the tropics is primarily a study in control, display lighting requirements are weighed against art conservation requirements in order to ensure that exhibits do not suffer deteriorating effects due to light exposure. The author uses the experimentation method on selected case studies to conduct his research. This is because the study required experimentation in the form of lighting analysis carried out within a case study context with the results presented in the form of colour coded light contour diagrams.

The findings show that 50 lux is the minimum amount of light needed to fully appreciate an exhibit while ensuring that it is not damaged by light. They also reveal that different material exhibits require different levels of lighting in order to reduce on the damaging effect of natural light on exhibits. These effects can be mitigated through use of UV filters on glazed surfaces, reducing the time of exposure to UV radiation and reducing the amount of UV radiation reaching a surface.

Based on the research findings, the author draws three main recommendations that can be adopted in art galleries in adaptive reuse buildings in order to fully exploit natural light while observing art conservation requirements.

These are: careful treatment of openings, effective selection of internal surface finishes and recommendations for future research as well.

Documentation : 

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