The Artron Wall in Shenzhen City, China, is the interesting project designed by Originator Lighting Design Consultants. In the building, visitors descend a massive staircase and arrive at the wall itself, which houses 50,000 art books. The enclosing space is 50 mt wide, with a 30 mt ceiling. In approaching this “black box” with no natural daylight, the lighting designer’s aim was to soften the space. And also to shorten the distance between art and human.

A clear glass panel protects the books posing a challenge in applying light well. To avoid glare, the team utilized projectors to light the books from inside the glass panel and help visitors view them clearly.

Technical details

While the book wall is the main focus of the space, the sculptural staircase makes its own impression. The staircase is covered by a layer of aluminum mesh on one side while the opposite side is clear glass. Colored reflections form the mesh strike the glass of the book wall and add mystery to the space. The clear glass handrail allows visitors to see through to the wall as they approach.

Since the main light source comes from the wall itself, the designers were able to leave a clean ceiling, with a few downlights. Lighting for the walking path is integrated into the handrail system at two layers.

The surfaces opposite the book wall remain as dark as possible to serve as contrast. And also to strengthen the effects of the wall and stair. There is also a linear light box housing a row of fluorescent uplights and several pairs of halogen downlights in the middle tier. This re-emphasizes the spectacular vision and provides illumination on the mezzanine.

The differing lighting strategies used emphasize all the architectural elements. They provide an intimate scale in a ponderous space. And they compose a symphony of harmony and variation.

Project: The Artron Wall
Location: Shenzen, China
Lighting Design: Originator Lighting Design Consultants
Photo credits: IALD
Awards: Winner of IALD Award of Excellence 2016