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DETAILS [snapshot]


An introduction to the work of Mexican lighting design practice Lighteam Gustavo Avilés. Pics: Adam Wiseman


SOUMAYA MUSEUM, MEXICO CITY ARCHITECT: FERNANDO ROMERO Located in Polanco, Mexico City, The Souma- ya Museum holds a 66,000-piece art collec- tion made up of 15th - 20th century European works of art, Mexican art, religious relics, historical documents and coins. The architec- tural program includes an auditorium, library, offices, restaurant, gift shop and multi-por- pose lounge that are spread throughout the six-storey building. The sculptural shape of the building is armoured with curved columns and hexagonal aluminum modules that give it an intriguing urban presence. It was of great importance that the beguiling shape was not lost when night falls and that its strong pres- ence could be translated into night. During the day natural light is filtered through the building’s dome and flows throughout the entire building. The circula- tion space that spirals around the exhibition areas is acompanied with coves that light the visitors’ steps.


Pics: Oscar Gracida Contreras


TEMPLE OF SANTA PRISCA, TAXCO, GUERRERO ARCHITECT: MIRIAM JIMENEZ, JULIO OBSCURA, JUAN CARLOS MARTÍNEZ Lighteam gave the temple of Santa Prisca a presence in Taxco’s night-time panorama. One of the goals was to give the temple a grand scale of height with a small amount of light at the base in- creasing to more volume on its towers. This was achieved with long distance shots from different points using an array of optics. Another concept in the lighting scheme was to ensure the temple is not obstructed by elements such as clamps, exposed wires and nails. Instead, the temple’s sculptural elements are highlighted us- ing strategically positioned luminaires hidden on nearby rooftops. To keep up with INAH (Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia) regulations, correction filters were used to maintain the the pink colour of the stone quarry. Using lamps that produce a silver tainted light, Lighteam created a glint that emerges within the temple and seeps through openings like the large windows and belfry towers. Another concept was to highlight the temple’s iconography. Each icon was illuminated using projectors from 40 metres away, accent- ing the Purisima Concepción Sculpture, the clock and the quarry stone’s texture. It was crucial that the lighting did not flatten the baroque art, but rather that the icons and ornamental details were enhanced using the correct balance of light and shade. Santa Prisca’s lighting project is the first phase of a lighting master- plan to turn Taxco into a City of Light.


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