The V&A wanted to re-create the connection with the outside by allowing views out and daylight in. Letting daylight into galleries that contain light sensitive artefacts is a challenge. Working with ZMMA, the exhibition designers, Sutton Vane Associates developed the light controlling baffles that filter the daylight to suitable levels. The practice created computer simulations of the light in the galleries to make sure that the shutters and blinds would work in the range of natural light conditions from sunny days to gloomy winter evenings.

The circular pendants make both soft light from the glowing rings and spots of light for highlighting exhibits. All the lighting has been carefully designed to show the colours and shapes of the wonderful artefacts and the spotlights were specially designed to be smaller than normal.

The Sutton Vane Associates team spent many weeks aiming every spotlight and balancing the brightness of the day light and the artificial light to help every object tell its story.

Artificial lighting is all LEDs. Most use remote phosphor technology to give good colour rendering and a consistent colour.

“I wanted to tell you I particularly enjoyed the captivating lighting on the portrait of Salome with the Head of St. John the Baptist.”

Celia Reyer, visitor on day one.

Other Associates

Exhibition Designers: ZMMA

M & E Engineers: Arup

Structural Engineer: Eckersley O’Callaghan

Cost Management Consultant: Davis Langdon LLP

CDM Coordinator: BHA Health and Safety Solutions Ltd

Contractor: Coniston

Electrical Contractor: MSL

Project Manager: Lendlease