Architects:   HILMER & SATTLER und ALBRECHT Gesellschaft von Architekten mbH, Berlin
Client:   Museum Barberini gGmbH, Potsdam
Occupant:   Museum Barberini gGmbH, Potsdam
Completion:   2016
Project size:   4.250 sqm
Photos:   Helge Mundt 1-4, 6-9
Stefan Müller 5


Museum Barberini: Perfection in Architecture and Light

After a construction period of three years the Museum Barberini in Potsdam was inaugurated in the presence of Chancellor Angela Merkel on January 20th, 2017. Based on Hasso Plattner's art collection, 17 exhibition spaces will show rotating exhibitions in cooperation with international museums and private collections and shall attract visitors from all over the world to Potsdam in the future. Prominently located in the city’s historic centre and in direct vicinity of the Stadtschloss (City Palace), the baroque Palace Barberini has been reconstructed according to historical records by the architectural office Hilmer & Sattler und Albrecht. With great respect for its historical significance, the interior has received an authentic and modern design. The lighting concept utilizes state of the art lighting technologies and supports the new building's sublime architecture with a serene and contained lighting concept.

The museum's foyer with its multitude of columns and subtly illuminated vaulted ceiling conveys an almost sacral atmosphere and welcomes the visitors with an inviting and charming gesture. From here, visitors enter the generous exhibition spaces with their oak flooring and distinct wall colours. The total exhibition area of the museum comprises 2,200 sqm across three levels.

The spaces located in the wings of the ground floor and first floor are equipped with newly designed lighting coves engulfing the ceiling. Providing for a pleasantly soft ambient light, they do not reveal the luminaires' mounting location. Groups of adjustable downlights and a rectangular track frame for the flexible accommodation of projectors cast additional accent light from the centre of the room onto the exhibits. The exhibition spaces with ceiling heights up to five meters, as can be found in the front building and on the 2nd floor are homogenously illuminated by large, yet maintainable LED-fitted luminous ceilings with textile membranes. Both light coves and luminous ceilings are designed to adapt to various exhibition requirements via tuneable white LED technology. Here, the colour temperature can be adjusted between 2.700K and 6.500K.

The entire luminous ceiling is framed by a light track for the integration of additional luminaires accentuating individual exhibits. The illuminance levels in the individual rooms are adapted to the sensitivity of the exhibits on display; hence, illuminance levels can be fine-tuned in compliance with the specific conservation requirements.

The lighting designers based the development of the lighting concept for the exhibition spaces on the museum’s conservational requirements: Excellent colour rendering, low UV emissions as well as control of light quantities at a consistent colour temperature are considered as important as a strict glare control for the lighting equipment.

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