25 Oct 2012
For the Parrish Art Museum’s new building, which opens on November 10, Arup’s lighting designers worked with architect Herzog & de Meuron to pay homage to Long Island’s celebrated light qualities.
The Hamptons region of eastern Long Island, where the museum is located, has long attracted renowned artists ranging from Willem de Kooning to Chuck Close. Artists have consistently cited the region’s distinctive light quality as a major draw.
Because the Parrish specializes in art from the surrounding region, at the outset of the project the architects visited local artists’ studios for design inspiration. They found that common features included vernacular architecture and a combination of daylighting and bare fluorescent high colour-rendering lamps.
The final design pays homage to these traits. The single-story, 34,400ft2 space uses simple forms and ample natural light to create a warm, welcoming environment.
Arup’s design allows the artworks to be seen in light conditions similar to those in which they were created for much of the year, when the museum is lit by generous (and very carefully placed) north-facing skylights. In periods of insufficient daylight, straightforward rows of fluorescent lights illuminate the galleries.
The museum is open to the public free of charge from November 10-12.