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Chinese Museum of Women & Children, Beijing, China

Issue 59 Feb / Mar 2011 : Retail : Museum


Beijing SIGN Electrical Engineering and Beijing United Artists Lighting Design have teamed up once again to create a new Beijing Museum, celebrating the role of women in Chinese society

Located on the north side of East Chang An Avenue, beside the All-China Women’s Federation and the Cha Women’s Activity Center, an unusual structure has for the last four years been taking shape. The Chinese Museum of Women and Children is set apart from its neighbours by a striking ribbed, glass and steel roof structure that wraps around an eyecatching ‘kaleidoscope’ window. Architects, China Architecture Design & Research Group, have taken inspiration from the Woman and Child theme to create a structure abound with curves and colours.  The exhibition spaces sit, as if in utero, within the curved structure.
A near clinical white interior is warmed by light and playful splashes of colour. In the main entrance lobby and atrium space, a glossy red block of colour dominates one wall, while near-fluorescent green glass banisters edge the landings throughout the atrium.

As with previous projects, like the Shandong Radio and Television Center in Jinan (mondo*arc #54) lighting engineers Beijing SIGN Electrical Engineering Co Ltd worked with lighting designer Wang Dongning of Beijing United Artists Lighting Design Co Ltd to bring the building to life.

From the outset, it was agreed that the design should focus on qualitative lighting without getting bogged down in illuminance data alone. The strategy emphasised the importance of a natural lighting effect, augmenting the available daylight to maximise comfort and energy savings.

Wang Dongning met with the architect early in the project to offer advice on the different application of light within the space and how it could be used to double as illumination for the exterior. By allowing the interior light to spill through the atrium windows, the building takes on a lantern-like glow at night. When it came to the interior, however, the team selected high efficiency luminaires that produced less spill light, not only to decrease light ‘noise’ inside the space, but also increase lighting quality and save energy accordingly.

“When we selected lighting methods and luminaires, the degree of lighting comfort was our main consideration, in order to achieve the smallest direct and indirect glare within the visual area,” explains Wang Dongning. This is particularly apparent in the lobby and atrium. “Using a hierarchical method for different elements inside the space, a beautiful and comfortable visual scheme with a harmonious brightness has been achieved.”

Wherever possible, fixtures have been discretely placed. Ground recessed Reggiani Metamorphosi fixtures, for example, were installed along the western side of the lobby to illuminate the ribbed structure. Elsewhere in the lobby space Endo GLED downlights and ERCO Optec Spotlights have been placed on a series of circuits. This allows the building operator to manually switch between a number of scenarios depending on the level of daylight. The use of a special coating on the glass – applied according to calculations made using model analysis - ensures natural light adds to the soft, bright environment.

For those fixtures placed high up on the ceilings, metal halide lamps with high efficiency ballasts were used, increasing the maintenance interval to between 8000 and 12000 hours. Fixture aesthetics were also key. SBP Hedo streetlights - chosen for a curved shape that compliments the museum structure - were placed around the escalators as they climb through the atrium. The fixtures provide pools of energy efficient lighting without any unwanted upward light pollution.

In combination, the  various elements of Wang Dongning’s design ensure a visually comfortable transition from day to nighttime – enhancing the visitor experience whatever the hour.

Project Details
Chinese Museum of Women and Children, Beijing, China
Client: All-China Women’s Federation
Lighting Design: Beijing United Artists Lighting Design Co Ltd
Lighting Engineers: Beijing SIGN Electrical Engineering Co Ltd
Architect: Cui Kai, China Architecture Design & Research Group

Lighting Specified
54 x Reggiani Metamorphosi 5821 Series in-ground, HIT-CE 35W G12 on ribbed structure
20 x Reggiani 5092 HIT-CE 150 G12 surface mounted projector
44 x Reggiani 5855.74 LED 14x0.1W staircase
10 x SBP Hedo 05194996 HIT -CE 70W G12 escalator
2 x VAS FGD-025.006 HIT-CE 150 G12 anteroom, first floor
2 x VAS FGD-029.005 HIT -CE 150W G12 anteroom, first floor
12 x ERCO 72035 HIT -CE 150W G12 on the side of kaleidoscope body and on second floor
7 x ENDO GLED 2195S HIT-CE 35W G12 lobby hall, third floor
9 x ENDO GLED 2195S HIT-CE 70W G12 lobby hall, third floor
8 x ENDO GLED 2244S HIT-CE 35W G12 wall washer lobby hall,  ceiling 
11 x ENDO GLED 2195S HIT-CE35W G12 lobby hall, accent lighting
26 x ENDO GLED 2042S HIT-CE 70W G12 lobby hall, basic lighting 8 x ENDO GLED 2195S HIT-CE 35W G12  second floor plate

39 x ERCO 72003 QR-CBC51--RE 35W 12V GU5.3 (10º beam angle) track mounted spotlight  
10 x ERCO 73461 QT12-ax 50w GY6.35 (5º beam angle) track mounted spotlight  
10 x ERCO 72020 QT12-ax-LP 100w GY6.35 (7º beam angle) track mounted spotlight  
115 x Fagerhult 26903C T5 28W 4000K linear fluorescent


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