Special lighting for a special space

Marte.Marte Architekten have designed a futuristic structure for Landesgalerie Niederösterreich.
by Anna Moldenhauer | 6/11/2019

“The shape may look relatively complex, but it’s really very simple,” says Bernhard Marte of Marte.Marte Achitekten. Starting like the base of a pyramid, the lower part of the building slots into the arrangement of the city, while the upper level takes its cue from the Danube. Skewed around a vertical axis, the building seems to be in constant motion. The complex twists of the outer wall offer new perspectives from every angle, and no two square inches of the façade are the same. By way of reference to the roofs of the old town, which are all covered in tiles and shingles, the architects decided to clad the concrete edifice with titanium zinc shingles too. The curved form of the building and its taper upwards is reflected in the interior: “We have walls that lean in two directions, inwards into the room and outwards from the room,” explains Bernhard Marte.

With an eye on the rather particular setting, Zumtobel fitted project-specific lights in the interior. While the levels that have daylight were given a neutral white light color of 4000K, which is similar to natural daylight, in the rooms with light-sensitive exhibits streamlined lights with a warm color temperature of 3000K were used. The extraordinary structure of the ceilings and walls called for some innovative thinking for the positioning of the lights too: “We used a grid that was three times denser than usual”, says Bernhard Marte. Instead of every two meters, the light rails were all fitted at a distance of 70 or 80 centimeters from one another along the line. Meanwhile, each spotlight can be aimed variably at a particular point and can be dimmed.

Three in one

As you walk through the museum, the “Ondaria” lights on the stairs ensure extensive, pleasant light and sure footing, while ring lights and downlights with tunableWhite technology in the museum’s bistro make it possible to vary the color of the light between warm and cold white as required. For the outside area complete with terrace, Zumtobel demonstrated particular finesse: The “Supersystem Outdoor” LED light solution was partly integrated into the façade and partly embedded in special square masts that take the form of steles. These lighting elements also provide for surveillance and WIFI routers so that the impression of the façade is not broken up by too many elements. In the final step, the Thorn brand that forms part of the Zumtobel Group installed the compact LED spotlights of “Type Contrast 2”, which set the scene for the façade during the evening. With the construction of the Landesgalerie Niederösterreich, the longstanding partnership with Zumtobel has another project to its name: “Time and again, Zumtobel has developed lighting solutions especially for us,” Bernhard Marte concludes.