Gallery at Boston Historic Museum of Natural History Majestically Lit Up with LEDs

This majestic, historic building now houses Restoration Hardware’s Flagship Store. After sitting empty for years, façades and roofs were restored and a vibrant, new use of the building’s interior was realized. Now a retail establishment, treatment as a monument, true color and daytime concealment were critical requirements. All façade lighting fixtures are completely concealed, evoking the desired “light from nowhere” look. Though 95 percent of this lighting is LED, multiple high-CRI source types are employed to accommodate the building and owner’s varied finishes, colors and proportions.

Maintaining a hierarchy of brightness and functional source and color selection, 2700K, 24-watt IRiS P3LED recessed adjustable LED downlights with interchangeable beam spreads provide a warm base layer wash throughout. A preset dimming system responds both to 24/7 prescribed scenes and exterior photocells for weather and sky brightness changes. (Photo Courtesy of Doug A. Salin)

High contrast focal lighting and moody galleries were to be avoided. Highlighting of merchandise and architectural features is achieved through color temperature variation. Multiple layers of light support an aesthetically pleasing retail hierarchy and avoid high contrast. Certain architectural elements are featured to harmonize with the merchandise. The site, landscape, façade and interior architectural lighting aim to frame and guide guests on a unique shopping experience.

What is most interesting regarding the use of Eaton’s Cooper Lighting products is that there was no intention to package the design. Fixtures were selected by an independent lighting designer to fulfill team desires, wants, needs and visions. The design team notes that various lighting distribution and output options, excellent color, low profile and reliable performance combined to make io the single choice for the majority of both interior and exterior linear LED strips. Low aperture brightness and small size, field changeable optics, outstanding color, superior quick aiming and lockable optical chains and options exceeding competitors’ products also made IRiS the single choice.

Project: The Gallery at the Historic Museum of Natural History Restoration Hardware, Boston, Massachusetts

Design Team: Ross De Alessi, IALD, MIES; Norm Spencer, I.A.T.S.E. United Scenic Artist; and Neil Reeder

Photography:  Brett Drury Photography (exterior) and © 2013 Doug A. Salin – (interior)

Products from Eaton’s Cooper Lighting business used in the application: IRiS, io

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