For the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, an ambitious and innovative urban lighting project was carried out at the spectacular "Museu do Amanhã" (Museum of Tomorrow).
Designed by the prestigious architect Santiago Calatrava, the museum has large openings that allow natural daylight to enter. The lighting team, led by creative director Monica Luz Lobo, would design an interior illumination scheme to complement this unusual ambience.
Lighting systems incorporating LED luminaires were installed. Indirect lighting illuminates the ceiling evenly, highlighting its curvature and creating a unique floating effect. Near-invisible lighting integrated in the concrete structure provides a range of changing effects, emphasizing the horizontal planes of the exhibition space.
The result of the installation is a beautiful interplay between architecture and lighting. And thanks to the use of renewable energy sources, the project received the impressive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Interview with Monica Luz Lobo
What was your approach on this project?
The idea was to reveal this huge-scale sculpture through its very own particular kind of light.
What is the ambiance of the auditorium?
The idea in the auditorium was to give a feeling of being apart from the rest of the building. The wood finishes, the colors and the welcoming light all invite the audience to discover what comes next.
What part does light play in the museography?
On most of the installations, the lighting supports and relates to the videos and projections. In contrast, in the Oca section at the end of the museum area, light is the star of the show, conveying the message that tomorrow is today and today is the time of action.
How did you light the wooden sculpture “Oca da Imaginação” (Imagination Hut)?
We used Philips Color Kinetics iColor MR gen3 RGB with DMX control. We installed an accessory that was developed specially, incorporating it into the bottom knot of each cell in the diamond, with the light varying in accordance with a specific soundtrack. In most cases we have three bulbs on each cell, reducing to two and then one as the size decreases. The aperture of the beam also varies.
Why did you use LED lighting in these spaces?
Because it solves all the tasks and enhances the venues. Efficiency and ease of maintenance were also important components of the brief.
What was the feedback like from the architect?
Great, it was pure teamwork. The whole process was a big adventure - most of the solutions had not been tested before.