Neues Museum

Another milestone for our team: the lighting of a world heritage site and a large, internationally famous collection. In 2009, after ten years of intensive planning, we were able to handover the realized lighting concept in the restored Neues Museum. The discreet light atmosphere and the soft, yet precise
illumination of the objects – particularly Nefertiti – are highly admired by museum specialists and visitors. For the overall architecture, David Chipperfield received the 2011 German Architecture Prize, among other recognitions.

 

Building Type:
Culture +
The lighting design not only has clear features, but is also highly flexible in terms of adjusting to the exhibit. After completion of the building, room by room parallel to installation, the individual exhibits and vitrines were at first very basically illuminated and then in a much more refined manner.
Monument +
As part of the Museum Island, the Neues Museum belongs to world cultural heritage. The basic structure standing under historical preservation requires very careful and individualized detailed solutions. No historical room is quite the same as another. Both the still extant and restored elements were for the most part untouchable for the lighting installations. Due to the vast diversity of spaces and the restrictions arising from the conservation of the building, over a hundred customized luminaires had to be designed that also followed the overall lighting scheme. Owing to the damaged condition of the museum in the beginning stages of planning, impressions of the rooms and the natural lighting were analyzed using a 3-D model with moving camera shots.
Area:
Atrium +
The character of the natural lighting in the Greek Courtyard is defined by a clear glass roof which allows for strong contrasts by letting through direct sunlight. The artificial lighting component is particularly indispensible for the discernability of the bas-relief friezes. Profile spotlights shine down from between the two layers of the roof without producing any glare and illuminate only the exhibits. The Egyptian Courtyard possesses a muted daylight atmosphere under a diffuse glass ceiling that is transilluminated (150W metal halide lamps on four tracks) to light the reliefs and sculptures 14 meters below.
Staircase +
The impressive grand staircase with its six meter-high windows on both end walls is intensively lit by natural light. The artificial lighting is added in stages as needed depending upon the time of day.
Exhibition +
The vast differences between the spaces and the restrictions imposed by the conservation project made the development of more than a hundred individual customized luminaires necessary, which all needed to follow the overall lighting concept. The objective of the light planning was to harmonize the artificial lighting with the intended different daylight conditions in the exhibit spaces.
Lighting Technology:
Artificial Light +
All exhibition rooms have two components: object illumination and general lighting. Security lighting is integrated into the general lighting, whereby additional lights were avoided. In newly constructed sections, the lighting fixtures are integrated into pre-fabricated ceiling elements and technical equipment, such as loudspeakers, is placed in the casing elements of the fixtures. The exhibits, ranging from large sculptures to the smallest of gold objects, are illuminated by the interior light. The result is a generous and homogenous light atmosphere. Through optimal use of lamps, the power required is a maximum of 20W/m2 (grand staircase and courtyards approximately 10W/m2). The general lighting comes predominantly from low-energy metal halide lamps and fluorescent lamps, all of which have been designated with the best energy classification. The use of daylight is also an energy-reducing factor.
Daylight +
Built in 1850, the museum was originally intended to be lit by natural light alone. Since its damaged condition in the beginning phases of planning did not allow for any realistic interior impressions, the qualities of the natural light were analyzed using a 3-D model. In the course of further planning, all daylight aspects were discussed and visually determined through calculations and tests. The sun screen and anti-glare shield is of dark-colored, specially perforated fabric. The effect corresponds to the needs of the collections for a reduced daylight factor, while at the same time retaining the excellent view. The different glass types used to enclose the inner courtyards produce very different daylight characters. The qualities of the glass roofs were tested extensively 1:1 and coordinated with the artificial lighting.
Region:
Berlin
Picture credits:
Photographs +
Linus Lintner
Visualisations +
Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum Treppenhalle, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum, Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum Nofretete, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung
  • Neues Museum, beleuchtet von Kardorff Ingenieure Lichtplanung