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Lighting design at the new Moesgaard Museum in Denmark

Photo: COWI

​GOBO patterns in the foyer at Moesgaard Museum

​Moesgaard Museum by Aarhus, Denmark, has a new museum building of international standards. COWI's lighting designers have created the museum's unique lighting that accentuates the beautiful architecture and secures good escape routes.

​COWI has designed the outdoor lighting as well as part of the indoor lighting. The outdoor lighting is both decorative and subtle, and also acts as escape route lighting. The lighting designers have succeeded 100 per cent in meeting many contradictory requirements from fire safety authorities and architects.

For the assignment, the lighting designers had a small LED luminaire designed for the architectonic lighting which is integrated in the lawn around the building. Each of these small low luminaires – that are used in abundance – emit a relatively soft light that does not spoil the great evening view over Aarhus Bay.

Indoor lighting with GOBO

In the foyer and on the visitor stairway, the lighting design helps create the right atmosphere and emphasise the architecture.

The so-called GOBO lighting is used to create pseudo-daylight conditions, day and night, by means of artificial lighting. Using projections of the sun through leaves and branches, nature seeps into the rooms - creating the feeling of daylight and nature.

Furthermore, LED light sources have been fitted on the walls instead of the floors, which is how it's typically done. By lighting the walls directly, you get the same lighting experience, but use less light. 50 lux on the walls create the same lighting experience as 100 or 150 lux on the floor.
Lighting vertical surfaces creates a nicer light and saves a lot of energy, making Moesgaard one of the most energy-efficient museum in the world.

Besides lighting design, COWI provided consultancy on energy concepts, acoustics, fire safety and sustainable solutions.

LAST UPDATED: 03.02.2017