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Bundanon Art Museum

Prize(s) Winners in Low Carbon Lighting
Company Steensen Varming
Lead Designers Steensen Varming
Client Bundanon Trust
Photo Credits Rohan Venn
Other Credits Kerstin Thompson Architects
Completion Date 2022
Project Location Illaroo, NSW, Australia
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Entry Description

A bespoke Australian response and ambitious sustainability targets for the Bundanon Art Museum drove a low carbon footprint design, sensitive to the landscape and ecology, which is resilient, resistant and responsive to climatic conditions.

Lighting responds to this vision and net zero target with a responsible, paired back, targeted approach, applied with restraint. Daylight and solar powered electric light reduce reliance on fossil fuels.

By day, natural light pours into the accommodation and central passage. At night, light is simple, elegant and curated with specific purpose to be in harmony with the environment. Humbly unlit from the outside, lighting is internalized within the bridge forms. Warm pools of light accent task areas in the rooms with no overhead illumination, vertical markers define the room entries and warm diffused light softly washing the timber and ceiling, enhancing the warmth of the materials with a clean design language. Sensors activate the lighting only when needed, reducing energy consumption, embracing darkness and connection with nature.

The contemporary gallery space utilises fittings with high spectral performance and changeable optics for utmost flexibility and adaptability.

Integrated, low level path and bench lighting minimizes light spill and impact to the night sky, facilitating movement and wayfinding whilst supporting site ecology.
Sustainability Approach

Lighting is part of an integrated approach to sustainable design across all disciplines targeting net zero, working alongside initiatives such as rain water harvesting, local material use, high performance and passive building envelopes and resilient and resistant design.
Daylight and solar powered electric light are balanced reducing reliance on fossil fuels. Targeted illumination provides light only where needed.
Local control allows users to tune the space to their needs and sensors optimise energy use. Gallery lighting is flexible and adaptable using interchangeable optics reducing fitting quantities and associated material production, packaging and shipping.
In line with darksky principles, the low level, restrained external approach is environmentally responsible supporting the site ecology.
Beyond the site, the organization has a carbon farming process and 12,000 carbon credits.