"Architecture and Exhibit:
Stylistic coincidence versus Neutrality
Museums can motivated by the specific character of the art collection exhibited there. Alexander Dorner, the Hanover museum director, does not consider the museum a “temple of eternal values” but as a “place in which the evolutionary growth of our cultural strengths” should be apparent. Nowadays, the challenge is to integrate the museum into its urban context without giving up its specific character. That is to create a link between the two. An early precedent - Hans Hollein’s Abteiberg Museum united the traits of heterogeneous museum types into an affective staged architectural landscape that met a variety of functional requirements, without ever giving up its artistic claims.
Form and Function
The access at the entrance area very often proves to be a place where heightened design aspirations aim well beyond simply fulfilling functional requirements. The entrance to the museum, which as the seam between inside and outside in a way represents the architectural interface between the public and the content of the collection, triggers in the visitor a certain attitude of expectation, which is confirmed, modified or corrected by the foyer. Antiquarium in the Munich Residenz or the galleries in Sabbioneta and Mantua: the long halls even force the visitor walking along them to observe the immobile objects in a sequence.
However, open space stands in fundamental opposition to the above-mentioned design which limits visitor’s freedom significantly. Thus there emerged some new museum buildings that offer the possibility of choosing between several paths.
Moreover, linearity or complexity in circulation design does not have to be limited to a single level; instead differences in level can contribute significantly to avoiding monotony. In this way the route in Munich’s Neue Pinakothek, accompanied by several accessory routes, but in principal clearly recognizable purposefully overcomes step by step the difference in level of one floor to the next before it leads back again to the exit level. In mˆnchengladbach, richly varied stairway forms characterize not only the appearance of diverse counterpoised and staggered exhibition rooms, but also become the architectural expression of a three-dimensional route – a trend that leads finally to Alessandro Mendini’s stairway sculpture clad with coloured mosaic tiles in the Groninger Museum, which itself becomes an exhibition object.
Voiced by Walter Gropius among others in response to mono-functional buildings, museums should offer greatest possible flexibility in the interior and avoid rigid arrangement of walls. According to Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers, museums are flexible containers and dynamic communication machine.
Lighting Design in Museums
Visibility: Visibility requires a minimum level of illumination, good contrast without shadows, good colour rendering and avoidance of glare. Objects made of light or video installation must be shielded from light that would distract the observer, while large objects such as monuments or excavation sites should be shown in as natural a light as possible, without however, being exposed to damaging weather conditions.
Illuminances of 50 lux for paper and textiles, and 150 lux for paintings on canvas have been established. The potential damage to objects form the thermal effects of lighting should be taken into account (tension, stretching, crack formation). Heating of objects due to heat radiation that can lead to damage must be avoided, so ‘cold’ light without infrared is recommended.
Window glass with ultraviolet filtering characteristics is used in museum buildings today in order to protect the interior rooms from energy-rich spectrum of daylight.
Light openings should be positioned correspondingly high. Directional lighting with corresponding shadowing is advantageous for spatial orientation and for the perception of objects (spatial forms, surface structures). Extremely soft, non-directional lighting, for example through a high proportion of reflected indirect lighting should therefore be avoided, just as overly contrasty lighting should as well.
High rooms and windows placed high on the walls, immediately under the ceiling, are advantageous. Light-deflecting devices in the windows can be helpful as well as ceiling cavities lined with light-reflecting materials that deflect the daylight into the depths of the room by means of multiple reflections through a light-disseminating ceiling underneath (cf. Kunsthaus Bregenz by Peter Zumthor).
The lighter the sufaces, the better the light distribution by multiple reflections and the general lighting of the room.
Room lighting is used to ensure that visitors can move safely through the museum. For this kind of lighting, 20 to 50 lux is already sufficient, for example, for the corridors. Room lighting also has the task of making visitor’s stay in the museum comfortable, for example for relaxation phases after concentrated observation or stimulation through changing of one’s spatial situation. An evenly lighted exhibition quickly leads to fatigue, and the visit becomes strenuous."
---------------------------------------------The artical is from Feifei Feng