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Chau Chak Wing Museum

Prize(s) Winners in Daylighting
Company Steensen Varming
Lead Designers Steensen Varming
Client The University of Sydney
Photo Credits Brett Boardman, JPW and Anthony Fretwell
Other Credits JPW (Architect)
Completion Date 2020
Project Location Sydney, NSW
Company Link View
Entry Description

Chau Chak Wing Museum houses Sydney University's extensive art collection under one roof as a multipurpose display, research and educational facility.

The daylighting design’s simplicity and discreet elegance establishes a coherency between the museums striking monolithic form, bringing natural daylight into the depths of the museum while adhering to the complex conservation criteria where the highest quality and light control is expected.

Open corridors surrounding the triple height atrium double as highly controllable collection display areas. Simulations of various window and skylight glazing performance and glazing frit arrangements were undertaken to deliver a highly controlled daylight distribution, limiting illuminance levels enabling sensitive object displays on the topmost floors, while allowing higher levels of daylight penetration to the lowest levels.

A holistic daylighting and lighting approach incorporates a cost-effective tuneable white linear lighting system mounted just above the skylight baffle supporting the transition between the daytime and nighttime experience.

The lighting design balances the need for meticulously regulated interior light levels, while enhancing the architecture and allowing visitors to comfortably view the museum’s collection and interior grandeur without glare or breaks in visual harmony, regardless of the time of day.
Sustainability Approach

The highly controlled daylight solution developed minimises the need for electric lighting within the atrium and adjoining daylit areas of the museum supporting the museums sustainable objectives.

Daylighting analysis assisted the architect to select the optimal glazing and skylight materials, minimising the need for additional daylight control systems such as louvres and shading devices.

Energy efficiency analysis for the electric skylight lighting optimised the solution and the holistic approach to daylighting and electric lighting ensured minimal impact upon light sensitive objects.

Detailed design refinement and appropriate specification minimised equipment quantities, and high quality equipment selections have minimised long term environment impact associated with the need for replacement or maintenance of equipment, including new material production, packaging and shipping.