The Walker
Return to main page > Museums & Galleries

The Walker – National Gallery of the North, Liverpool

We have been involved in a number of separate projects at The Walker Art gallery over the years. The first in the early 90’s was a comprehensive review of the operating and maintenance of the existing daylight and artificial lighting control systems for a number of the existing galleries.

This was followed by the production of a three-year investment programme for the upgrading of the lighting and control systems. In the mid nineties we carried out a design project for the lighting of the entrance hall, café, central stair and related galleries in preparation for a lottery bid. More recently we have been involved in a very exciting project to create an adaptable suite of galleries for temporary exhibitions.

The Temporary Exhibition Suite

During 1999/2000 we worked on the lighting of a new suite of temporary exhibition galleries with the Architects Law & Dunbar-Nasmith. A number of old galleries and other spaces previously used as storage rooms and as conservation studios were restored back to gallery use.

The new gallery suite consists of a large barrel vaulted room with one other smaller top daylit gallery and two inter-linked galleries with no daylight. The whole complex provides a series of interconnecting rooms that can be used to show a single major exhibition or smaller simultaneous exhibitions of different sizes at lit to different lighting levels. We designed an adaptable lighting system for each gallery including the associated sophisticated dimming control system to allow varied types and forms of exhibition to be displayed in any of the gallery spaces.

We also advised on the automatic blinds systems that allow maximum use of daylight in the galleries when required but limits overall light exposure. We designed an artificial daylight system for the print collection galleries to replace the daylight that was ‘lost’ when air-conditioning equipment was installed in the seventies in the old roof void.

The lighting has been designed to be flexible and allows for exhibitions that include various types of installation art as well as more traditional two and three dimensional forms.

In addition an existing light well was spanned to form an associated entrance foyer. We designed the lighting and the manually controlled blinds over the rooflights to be adjustable and to allow the three sections of the foyer to be used for ticketing, a shop or audio-visual presentations depending on the type and number of exhibitions on in the neighbouring galleries. It was especially important to ensure that the light was limited outside of any gallery with low light levels to allow the visitor’s eyes to adapt down to the low light levels and so get greater enjoyment from the exhibition.

Return to main page > Museums & Galleries