Best Use of Daylighting, Daylighting - Clyfford Still Museum, Denver

The museum, which houses a collection of approximately 2,400 artworks by American abstract expressionist painter Clyfford Still, sits just west of the Denver Art Museum’s Daniel Libeskind–designed addition. In contrast to its neighbor’s bold, steel-plated façade, the Clyfford Still Museum is a diminutive, two-story concrete structure.

On the ground floor, exhibit display cases are illuminated by adjustable LED tracklights. This provides for curatorial flexibility and ensures limiting light exposure at close range.

Although the bulk of this collection resides in storage, the pieces that rotate through the second-floor galleries receive ample, diffuse light from a custom-formed, cast-in-place, perforated concrete ceiling with skylights and integrated electric lighting.

The regularity of the ceiling’s perforation patterns offers a texture complementary to the museum’s variable-width-board-formed concrete walls.

Finely-tuned daylight filtering through the concrete ceiling illuminates the large gallery spaces. Smaller galleries beyond house light-sensitive works on paper.

Throughout the day, halogen sources are slowly adjusted via photosensor to limit light exposure and meet energy and conservation requirements.

Arup conducted several lighting studies with scale models and mock-ups to see that energy and conservation goals could be met with its daylighting strategy.

Track configurations are tailored to minimize the number of mounting points while maintaining the greatest amount of flexibility to exhibit the rotating collection.

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