Hong Kong Museum of History

Lei Yue Mun Museum Hong Kong

Location plan

The Redoubt at the Lei Yue Mun Museum in Hong Kong has a central courtyard, surrounded by a series of casemates (vaulted chambers) constructed in the ramparts of this former British fort. The courtyard and higher level are covered by a translucent roof membrane supported on four steel masts.

The brief to the lighting consultants required them to investigate the following aspects of the exhibition designer's responsibilities:

1. The way in which artificial lighting could enhance and dramatize a display in the courtyard in spite of the very high level of daylight.

2. The degree to which the daylight could penetrate the interiors of the casemates through the relatively narrow entrances from the courtyard, crucial knowledge when designing the display of fragile and fugitive artefacts.

3. The way in which the design of the exhibition fabric and lighting could help to overcome the problem of a visitor's adaptation to the different light levels on entering the casemates.

4. The design of the lighting within the casemates.

The enclosed character and artificial lighting of the exhibition proposed for the courtyard -a replication of a Chinese fort of the Qing dynasty-would have ensured avisually

Sun / Daylight

Section through the courtyard to show the location of the tentlike roof structure

exciting experience in spite of the abundance of daylight. In the event this proposal was abandoned in favour of a flexible assembly of large exhibits, and interactive video monitors.

To establish how much daylight would enter the casemates in terms of the percentage of natural light present in the courtyard, studies were carried out under the artificial sky at the Bartlett School of

Architecture. This simulated the effect of the diffusing roof membrane.

Two studies were undertaken. The first was for a casemate with no obstruction to the daylight entering through the door opening. In spite of the introduction of a small obstruction within the casemate, the study demonstrated that natural light passing through a membrane with a 10 per cent

Exterior of the tent structure transmission factor would produce a daylight factor (DF) of 1 per cent on the floor at the far end of the casemate, resulting in light levels far in excess of the 50 lux allowed. In a second study, an obstruction placed 1 metre inside the entrance resulted in substantially reduced daylight levels within the interior. Such obstructions, designed in various ways, allow for a variety of presentations of non-fugitive artefacts and graphics. The introduction of the obstructions created intermediate light lobbies, which materially assisted in overcoming the problem of visual adaptation on entering the casemates.

The lighting studies carried out at the Bartlett greatly assisted the exhibition designer, the positive outcome of this cooperative design process has proved very successful.

The central courtyard

Exterior of the tent structure


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