Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, UK

The Towner Gallery is a new contemporary art gallery designed by Rick Mather Architects. The gallery is located next to the Grade 2 listed Congress Theatre in Eastbourne and forms part of the Devonshire Park cultural area within the town.

dpa lighting design were appointed to design the lighting for the public areas, including gallery spaces, conference spaces and community rooms.

The lighting solution proposed for the gallery spaces comprises a ceiling mounted translucent stretch ceiling system located between the structural beams. The stretched ceiling membrane conceals an array of high frequency dimmable fluorescent luminaires which provide diffuse ambient illumination to the gallery spaces. This is supplemented by three circuit lighting tracks with adjustable variable beam low voltage tungsten halogen spotlights which provide additional accent lighting to the paintings and exhibits on display.

Extensive investigations were made into the light transmittance properties of the translucent stretch ceiling.

Light sources within the gallery spaces were chosen for their excellent colour rendering properties and where required, the lamps have been fitted with ultraviolet reduction filters to minimise damage to light sensitive exhibits.

The lighting system is fully flexible allowing the range of ambient illumination levels within the gallery spaces to be varied between approximately 50 to 1000 lux to cater for temporary exhibitions as well as the permanent collection. The gallery spaces can be sub-divided into logical zones, each of which has a minimum of four separately addressable lighting circuits linked to a micro-processor based scene-setting control system.

Client: Eastbourne Borough Council
Project Manager: Cragg Project Management
Architect and Interior Designer: Rick Mather Architects
M&E Consultant: Mott Macdonald
Quantity Surveyor: Gardiner & Theobold

Photography courtesy of Daniel Clements and Richard Chivers.