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The Mitsubishi Galleries

Prize(s) Honorable Mentions in Visitor Experience & Museum Exhibition
Company Sutton Vane Associates
Lead Designers Mark Sutton-Vane
Other Designer's names Julie O'Reilly
Other Credits RFK Architects
Completion Date galleries opened 27 Sept 2018
Project Location Mitsubishi Galleries at the British Museum
Entry Description
The Mitsubishi Corporation of Japanese Galleries in the British Museum house the most comprehensive collection in Europe of artefacts and artwork from Japan. The galleries show how change and continuity have shaped Japan. The exhibits include many contemporary works of art, ancient pots and Samurai armor.
The design response that Sutton Vane Associates developed was that the lighting should be: Elegant, Simple, have respect, be calm and have order. We look after the visitors’ eyes as there are many light sensitive exhibits. There is a visual hierarchy: The artefacts first, then the graphics and finally the space. There is a gradual change of light levels so that the eyes have time to adapt to lower and higher levels in the space; in general some galleries are lower level than others to make the experience of viewing the exhibits as relaxing as possible. The galleries had high-quality cases, it was decided to retain these. To keep the amount of intervention to these cases to the minimum, the existing lighting locations behind sloping glass panels at the tops of the cases were retained. A small amount of lighting at low level was added inside some cases. All lighting is LED.