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The striking exterior of the Hepworth Gallery, Yorkshire. Photo: Hufton and Crow; The striking exterior of the Hepworth Gallery, Yorkshire. Photo: Hufton and Crow;

The Hepworth Wakefield Gallery, Wakefield, Yorkshire

Lighting design and security strategy for striking UK art gallery

The Hepworth Wakefield is an inspiring art gallery in Yorkshire, UK. The striking building was designed by David Chipperfield Architects.

Arup advised on the natural and architectural lighting design of the gallery, and developed the security strategy for the museum.

The gallery displays the original plaster sculptures of the internationally renowned sculptor Barbara Hepworth, as well as other historical and contemporary art exhibitions.

Lighting

The gallery’s works are displayed throughout a cluster of discrete trapezoidal rooms. The lighting concept for the galleries was designed for the optimal display of sculptures and the conservation of temporary exhibitions.

The galleries are naturally lit using skylights and vertical windows, arranged asymmetrically to create a gentle but definite variation of natural lighting levels. This allows a variety of art to be displayed in one room.

Arup’s lighting design team developed a ‘light mapping’ tool for each gallery to predict annual exposure. This was used, working with curators, to identify the optimum locations for the display of pieces with varying levels of light sensitivity.

Security

Arup also advised on the gallery’s physical and electronic security requirements. Our team developed the security strategy, specified physical standards for walls, doors, windows and electronic security systems and had an overseeing role during the installation on site. 

We were engaged at the outset of the project, our security experts working closely with gallery staff and the architect’s design team to integrate security into all elements of the building. 

The resulting security measures meet the requirements of the Museums and Galleries Commission, enabling the gallery to display art under the UK Government Indemnity Loan Scheme, maintain outreach objectives and host corporate events.