Auckland War Memorial Museum is amongst New Zealand’s most iconic and instantly recognisable buildings. As it celebrates 80 years in The Domain, new exterior lighting is set to connect the Museum with the vibrant city that surrounds it. The lighting is launched at 10pm on Friday, 30 October.
“We are illuminating the building, not only to honour its architectural magnificence, but to signify the importance of the Museum’s connection with the city. This iconic building should be seen from all vantage points throughout our city, and we are proud to illuminate it in an economically friendly and beautiful new way,” says Museum Director Dr Vanda Vitali. “We want to mark the building’s 80th year and honour the War Memorial aspect of the Museum in a truly innovative manner.”
For the illumination project, the Museum, along with Auckland City’s heritage authority, approved an all-LED environmental design that sets the historic location aglow like a jewel in the night. With roughly 400 LED fixtures, the entire structure is elegantly illuminated on top of Pukekawa in The Domain. The Museum worked with Lightemotion, an international lighting design firm, to complete the all-new LED light design for the exterior of the building.
The project has been developed with environmental sustainability in mind, and uses the latest-generation low-energy LED lights. Consuming between 50 and 74 watts per unit, the power required to run the lights equates to just one percent of the Museum’s total yearly electricity usage. In addition, Auckland Museum is partnering with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority to reduce power consumption across the building as part of this project.
“Unlike most other city icons, the Museum has never had a specific exterior lighting design that adequately highlights its rich architectural design and form. As a fitting celebration of the 80th anniversary since the building was opened, new exterior lighting has been installed. The lighting design has been thoroughly considered to sensitively enhance the richly modelled architectural detailing that could otherwise be lost in a less thoughtful design,” says Peter Reed, director at heritage and conservation architecture firm Salmon Reed Architects.
“Celebrating this achievement by the installation of the lighting is an appropriate form of recognition. The new lighting will give the Museum a new sense of identity, underpin its prominence in the city’s 'lightscape' and deliver to Auckland a new experience of a much loved Museum.”
The Museum’s exterior lighting evolves throughout the course of the evening to three time-specific modes:
7pm-12am: Classical Mode
This mode uses a golden hue, which climbs the building in a warm, amber tone.
12am-3am: Moonlit Mode
This mode uses white light to reflect a moonlit sky.
3am-7am: Sleep Mode
This lighting mode uses a soft blue shade to reflect morning slumber.
“We believe our building is so important to the people of Auckland because it’s the emotional and cultural hub, not just of our city, but our identity, our memories and our imagination as well,” says Dr Vitali. “With the world’s focus increasingly on Auckland, and with the approach of the Rugby World Cup, the Museum’s new lighting celebrates our heritage and show us looking forward. This is an exciting time for the city.”