Oulu Museum of Art

Oulu, Finland

The external appearance of the museum could not be altered, because the building is listed. This problem was solved by blocking up the skylights and replacing them with window-themed lighting, which serves as a kind of homage to the skylights. - Mr Antti-Sakari Merikallio, Museum Technician, Oulu Museum of Art.

The Project

Oulu Museum of Art is located in an old industrial building by Ainola Park near the city centre. As the premises were being renovated, the lighting in the exhibition spaces was also modernised. The aim was to achieve a result that yielded good light but was as subtle as possible. Another requirement was a stepless dimmer.

One of the largest lighting areas in need of modernisation were the skylights in the main exhibition space. They caused problems, especially on cold winter days. Because the air in the exhibition space is continuously humidified, warm air used to rise upwards and cause condensation, which then froze onto the inside surface of the cold window pane. Rising temperatures outside made the ice thaw and fall off the glass in large lumps, even setting off the motion detectors at times.

The skylights were replaced with Philips Savio lighting to form a window theme for the purpose of creating the illusion of daylight. Each ceiling pane is made up of several 600x600 modular lights. The stepless control of the level of light in the panes is achieved with a slider-controlled Philips DALI system. All the windows can be operated separately. The solution gives an even and smooth general light that is pleasing to the eye.

The Solution

Savio lights blend into structures subtly – indeed, lighting should not be overly noticeable when the main objects of interest are the pieces of art. Incorporated into Savio lights is a stepless dimmer, which enables the daily control of the lighting on the art. The controllable light is especially useful for lighting old paintings and sculptures.

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