The Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade (MoCAB) took advantage of a structural makeover to integrate innovative lighting solutions that can satisfy varying artistic requirements and exhibition conditions.
"It's always a major feat to properly illuminate a museum. That's why, in general, the best references for artificial lighting are found in museums.” - Dejan Todorović, Architect, NOOTO
To understand MoCAB’s lighting challenge, you first need to understand its location and structure: the building itself – globally renowned as an example of museum architecture – is made up of six cubes with octahedral domes and is linked to a surrounding park via large windows. Its interior is a single volume, without walls or corridors, with a central staircase giving access to all five floors, which have varying levels of natural light.
MoCAB’s renovation from 2007 to 2017, involved a major lighting design to enhance both the building and its art works. The lighting had to meet many, often-conflicting requirements: cost efficiency, improved display while preserving the artwork, and smooth light distribution without shadows. Architect Dejan Todorović was responsible for creating the lighting design while Željko Grubišić, who at the time worked for Kompanija Blagojević, oversaw the selection of technical solutions that would achieve the established goals.
The right lighting
Architect Dejan Todorović chose 360 Philips StyliD PerfectBeam projectors with a 7-43° beam angle to illuminate the paintings. DALI controllers enable precise adjustment of luminosity intensity, 16 pre-defined lighting atmospheres and individual lamp diagnosis. The technology highlights each painting beautifully without the risk of damage, and guarantees flexibility meaning it can be adapted for changing exhibitions.
A priority for the exterior lighting was to emphasize the museum's unusual geometry: the borders, the building's six cubes and their glazed domes. The exterior eW Blast Powercore gen4 Color Kinetics luminaires highlights the six cubes' vertical edges. CoreLine Tempo projectors installed below the six cubes' glass domes complement this illumination from inside. The entire illumination can be enjoyed from different perspectives - the best view is from the Belgrade Fortress - and highlights the museum architecture's unique polymorphic crystal forms.
The success of the solution underlines the value of cooperation among the project's stakeholders to achieve the best possible result. Signify provided technical advice to help Dejan Todorović find the best lighting concepts for his designs after numerous discussions. This teamwork resulted in an innovative museum lighting concept that satisfied the investor's requirement, synchronized with the building's original design, while providing the ideal environment in which to display artwork.