Sydney, Australia by Electrolight
As one of the 20 Unesco sites in Australia, the importance of the heritage aspects of both the building and the artifacts within Hyde Park Barracks was paramount. The lighting approach needed to consider not only the visual aims of the project but also avoid damage to the original heritage architecture and address conservation requirements in lighting the displayed artifacts.
As the exhibition spaces are designed to be an interactive and immersive experience, many of the areas were intentionally restrained so that the darkness provided relief and contrast to the focal aspects of the visceral displays. Digital footage is projected onto screens around the gallery spaces, so doorways and paths of passage are subtly illuminated to assist with wayfinding.
Every exhibition space was intentionally quite different with its content and method of displaying the artifacts + information to tell the story of the historical journey of the Barracks site. The lighting had to respond to this accordingly, resulting in fifteen separate mini-projects within the one exhibition, each one with close attention to detail down to the specific artifacts. Careful planning and coordination between the client and the design team went into all design stages to realize the exhibition displays in three dimensions and execute a seamless result.
The textured brick and subtle revealed facade offered so much opportunity for lighting. Previously the building had been floodlit from the perimeter, flattening the textures the building has to offer, and creating glare within the courtyard area. Through the use of staged lensing optics, perfectly located with prototyping on site, we were able to illuminate the façade elements to bring out the form of the classic architecture from close-range light sources for an optimum result, whilst not imposing on any of the heritage elements. This allows the entire building to sit illuminated while the courtyard is used for night-time events without any visible glare.