Zumtobel Lights up New Entrance Building for Berlin’s Museum Island

Austria-based lighting solution supplier Zumtobel was selected as the lighting partner of The James Simon Gallery, which is the new entrance building for Berlin’s Museum Island.

Named after Henri James Simon, a German entrepreneur and art collector, the new building serves as the entry points for worldwide tourists and connects the ensemble of museums on the Island from August 2019.


(Image: Zumtobel)

Zumtobel, as the lighting partner of the building, provided the open architectural structure with optimal artificial light. In addition, Zumtobel also develop the appropriate light and media channels, which run through the concrete ceiling of the whole building and integrate both loudspeakers and sprinkler systems to bund all the building services in a single channel. The indirect lighting enhances the natural daylight throughout the day, wherever needed.

To make the room and exhibit lighting in the auditorium and exhibition areas as flexible as possible, Zumtobel selected luminaires including CIELUMA and ARCOS. The CIELUMA ceiling luminaires consist of square textile light modules, with the gentle progression of the light from the edge to the middle of the luminaire a particularly noteworthy feature. A color temperature of 3800K ensures pleasant, uniform basic lighting in the room. The CIELUMA, with its acoustic fabric, also absorbs sound and reduces unwanted ambient noise in the room, allowing the visitors to enjoy the art without interruptions.


(Image: Zumtobel)

On the other hand, the ARCOS LED spotlights’ role is to showcase the exhibits. The spotlights provide accented lighting for the exhibits, high color rendering (Ra > 90) and excellent light quality. The UV- and IR-free light also protects the delicate artworks, while thanks to tunable white technology, the color temperature can be adjusted to suit each individual exhibit. It’s a great example of colors and materials working together perfectly.


(Image: Zumtobel)

Zumtobel pointed out that keeping the lighting plan flexible and adoptable is the most challenging task for designing lighting for the James Simon Gallery. “When it comes to lighting in architectural structures, it’s crucial to test how it’s perceived in reality and then adapt the technology to it”, said architect Alexander Schwarz. “During this discussion process, and the process of trial and error in the actual building, Zumtobel was always open and very professional,” continued Schwarz, describing the collaboration with the Austrian luminaire manufacturer.

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