The Louvre, Abu Dhabi, UAE

dpa are immensely proud and thrilled to be associated with the Louvre as their local design lighting specialist tasked with assisting the museum when new and existing exhibitions are changed or rotated to ensure the strict criteria for lighting to the artworks, many of which are priceless, are maintained and preserved for future enjoyment. Having opened in 2007, the Louvre Abu Dhabi is firmly recognised as one of the region’s most respected art museums and continually delights visitors with its collection of permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Client: Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi
Architect: John Nouvel
Photography: Louvre Abu Dhabi

Al Maktoum Residence, Dubai, UAE

The house of Sheikh Saeed Al Maktoum was built in 1896 and was inhabited by the Sheikh from 1912 until his death in 1958. Al Maktoum Residence charts the meteoric rise of Dubai from regional town to global metropolis. Visitors to the museum will gain a fascinating insight into the history of this pioneering region and its most famous family, history and conflicts.

The museum consists of over 30 rooms, each dedicated to differing narratives of the Al Maktoum Family. From the terraces you can appreciate the historic view of Dubai Creek and the Persian Gulf whilst on the other hand the contemporary city skyline reminds you of Dubai’s ambition and future direction.

Working closely with GSM Project, dpa developed a lighting scheme to help the viewer understand the significant local, regional and global contexts of the Al Maktoum Family, Dubai and their closely interwoven heritage.

In conjunction with the Perfume House and Story of the Creek, dpa developed a robust, pragmatic yet flexible lighting concept that enabled all aspects of the Al Maktoum Residence experience to develop at an individual level.

Architectural features have been highlighted to enhance the traditional building materials and techniques, whilst contemporary exhibition interventions are dealt with sympathetically.

Conservation played a major role in the illumination of certain spaces. Lighting equipment was sensitively located in order to provide maximum function with minimal impact.

Technology has formed a significant part of the realisation of this project. A sophisticated, dedicated architectural lighting control system forms the backbone of the scheme, ensuring the correct operation of the system whilst delivering flexibility along with cost and environmental benefits.

Client: Dubai Municipality 
Interior/Exhibition Designer: GSM Project
AV Consultant: XYZ Cultural Technologies
Photography: Alex Jeffries Photography Group
Visuals: dpa lighting consultants

Ishara Art Foundation, Dubai, UAE

dpa are immensely proud to have been invited to design the lighting for the newest gallery space in Alserkal Avenue Dubai.

Ishara Art Foundation is a non-profit contemporary art space centred on South Asia, established by Smita Prabhakar, collector and UAE resident and curated by specialist in South Asian art, Nada Raza. The current exhibition, Altered Inheritances, is a collection of work form artist Shilpa Gupta and Zarina.

dpa worked closely with the foundation team and architect Rahoul Sing from RLDA Architecture to conceptualise and develop a flexible and modern lighting scheme for the two floors of the gallery. As the art pieces and gallery layout will change from time to time, the lighting needed to be flexible in design to allow for all eventualities yet at the same time be uncluttered, elegant and identifiably different from other galleries. A carefully considered arrangement of recessed track under the mezzanine level allows for multiple luminaire mounting positions together with versatile spotlights with interchangeable lenses so that every art piece can be correctly addressed. For the atrium space the ambient and iconic lighting is created by 3 diminishing custom made squares suspended from the structural ceiling. Each square is an unbroken line of light with the ability to hold any configuration of spotlights, all independently controlled.

Architect: Rahoul Singh, RLDA Architecture
Photographer Ismail Noor/Seeing Things. Images courtesy of Ishara Art Foundation 2019.


Perfume House, Al Shindagha Museum, Dubai, UAE

Located within the dynamic and ever evolving Shindagha district this new addition to Dubai’s renowned cultural quarter, the Perfume House represents a valuable insight into Emirati Culture, Social Rituals and Heritage.

The re-appropriation of the building, consisting of one main covered gallery with smaller galleries and an external courtyard, help to trace and define the narrative of scent and perfume making through the ages.

Individual galleries tell the story of the regions complex and personal relationship with scent and perfume whilst detailing the geopolitical and demographic impact associated with the inevitable trade routes that developed and strengthened over time.

GSM Project developed a blend of traditional, contemporary, unique, interactive and immersive spaces that delight the senses whilst delivering a strong educational and heritage message.

dpa responded to this brief through the development of a robust yet flexible lighting concept that enabled all aspects of the museum experience to develop at an individual level.

Traditional exhibits such as vessels and stone work were illuminated to enhance their tactile and material qualities. More contemporary exhibits such as interactive screens and scent stations demanded a less intensive approach to illumination.

The building itself is a canvas upon which the exhibition is cast.

Extensive use of existing architectural features have been highlighted to reveal colour, contrast, form and texture helping to complement and reinforce the sense of heritage within the building.

Technology has formed a significant part of the realisation of this project.  A sophisticated, dedicated architectural lighting control system forms the backbone of the scheme, ensuring the correct operation of the system whilst delivering flexibility along with cost and environmental benefits.

Client: Dubai Municipality
Exhibition Designer: GSM Project
AV Consultant: XYZ Cultural Technologies
Photography: Alex Jeffries Photography Group

Dubai Creek: Birth of a City, Al Shindagha Museum, Dubai, UAE

Located within the dynamic and ever evolving Shindagha District this new addition to Dubai’s renowned cultural quarter, Dubai Creek: Birth of a City represents a valuable insight into Dubai’s historic and remarkable contemporary story.

The exhibition, consisting of several main galleries and an interactive cinema experience help to retell the story of Dubai Creek and its most important asset, it’s people.

GSM Project developed a blend of traditional, contemporary, unique, interactive and immersive spaces that delight the senses whilst delivering a strong educational and heritage message.

In conjunction with the Perfume House, dpa lighting responded to this brief through the development of a robust yet flexible lighting concept that enabled all aspects of the museum experience to develop at an individual level.

Traditional exhibits such as maps and chandlery were illuminated to enhance their tactile and material qualities.  More contemporary exhibits such as interactive models and history stations demanded a less intensive approach to illumination.

Architectural features have been highlighted to enhance the contemporary exhibition interventions against the more traditional building fabric whilst still revealing colour, contrast, form and texture

Technology has formed a significant part of the realisation of this project.  A sophisticated, dedicated architectural lighting control system forms the backbone of the scheme, ensuring the correct operation of the system whilst delivering flexibility along with cost and environmental benefits.

Conservation also played a major role in the illumination of certain spaces and artefacts within this exhibition. dpa worked closely with the curators to deliver precise amounts of illumination to specific sensitive exhibits.

Project Credits: 

Client: Dubai Municipality
Exhibition Designer: GSM Project
AV Consultant: XYZ Cultural Technologies
Photography: Alex Jeffries Photography Group

The Constellation, The Founder’s Memorial,
Abu Dhabi, UAE

dpa were privileged to be invited to illuminate The Constellation, a monumental public artwork that forms the centrepiece of The Founder’s Memorial in Abu Dhabi, a permanent national tribute to the UAE’s founding father, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

The artwork was conceptualised and designed by artist Ralph Helmick, whose practice explores human perception through large-scale public sculptures and installations that invite optical discovery.

dpa collaborated closely with the artist at both his studio in Boston and during the extensive lighting trials that were conducted in Abu Dhabi to achieve the optical visual performance of the lighting scheme that enhances this world class artwork. Particularly challenging was the task of conceptualising and developing a lighting scheme that would highlight the unique artwork from multiple viewing angles, whilst retaining the subtle complexity and depth of the sculpture.

The Constellation  consists of over one thousand three hundred geometric shapes suspended from more than one thousand tensioned cables. These elements constitute varying sizes of the five different types of regular, convex polyhedrons known as ‘platonic solids’, which are renowned for their mathematical beauty and symmetry. In order to achieve three dimensional rendition of the sculpture at night, seven hundred and fifty three downlights and twelve hundred and three uplights were custom made to illuminate the sculpture from above and below.  Each fixture is fitted with a 3.5w warm white LED and integral DMX control, which enables the exact tailoring of the lighting scheme to respond to the differing textures and forms of the individual and collective solids that make up the artwork.

The Constellation is situated within the landscape of The Founder’s Memorial, which features plants indigenous to the Arabian Peninsula, an elevated walkway offering breathtaking views of the city, and a Welcome Centre with a state-of-the-art multimedia experience. Housed within a pristine, prismatic Pavilion at the heart of the space, the suspended solids of The Constellation shine like stars within the night sky. This celestial display evokes the timelessness of Sheikh Zayed’s vision, which continues to offer the UAE people guidance along a path of progress and prosperity.

Project Owners: Ministry of Presidential Affairs
Artist: Ralph Helmick
Photography: Alex Jeffries Photography Group


Tiffany Gallery, New-York Historical Society, New York, USA

dpa lighting consultants worked in collaboration with the office of renowned architect Eva Jiřičná to create the Tiffany Gallery for the redesigned Luce Center on the fourth floor of the New-York Historical Society Museum & Library.

dpa also worked closely with the New-York Historical Society on this project. Specifically the brief required the creation of a spectacular, custom-designed glass gallery showcasing the Museum’s preeminent collection of Tiffany lamps. The gallery of Tiffany lamps, comprises a 4,800-square-foot, two-story space measuring nearly a city block with its elegant glass Norman S. Benzaquen Grand Staircase.  As the centerpiece of the fourth floor, the gallery features 100 illuminated Tiffany lamps from New-York Historical’s collection displayed within a dramatically lit jewel-like space that visitors can access through the Geduld Family Gateways.  The project was inspired by New-York Historical’s discovery of the unknown story of Clara Driscoll and the “Tiffany Girls,” who designed and created iconic Tiffany lamps at the turn of the 20th century, many of which are in the Museum’s collection.

“The reopening of our Henry Luce III Center on the fourth floor of our landmark building marks a new and dramatic phase in the evolution of New-York Historical as one of the great showcases for architectural innovation in New York with, among other spectacular features, a bi-level glass Tiffany lamp gallery that is a major feat of design and engineering,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society.

Nick Hoggett, Partner at dpa lighting consultants and lead on the project adds: “It was a wonderful project to be part of, the technical challenges of showcasing lamps that are over 100 years old in some cases, with contemporary context and techniques, was one we relished.  The Tiffany Girls remain an inspiration to all of us interested in light.”

The glass stair underwent considerable design input by all concerned, dpa and EJA carried out numerous studies and mock-ups, which has culminated in the carefully integrated linear LED lighting elements to the stair treads and supporting fins. A cool crisp white light was chosen so as to complement the glass structure whilst also complementing the warm white light used within the Tiffany lamps and elsewhere within the gallery space.

Eva Jiricna Architects designed special curved glass showcases to house part of the Tiffany collection and perimeter glass showcases for the remainder of the various Tiffany lamps that are now on show. Artificial lighting has been carefully coordinated within the showcases with a combination of fibre optic spotlights and various LED sources.

The lamping of the Tiffany lamps themselves raised some interesting philosophical questions which were debated with the curatorial team at the museum and internally at dpa. One key question was whether the lamps used should provide an accurate representation of the tungsten lamps used historically or whether the visual impact of the Tiffany lamps was the most important factor. After much debate and trialling of numerous retrofit LED lamps, a palette of high CRI ‘filament style’ LED lamps was settled upon which paid respect to tungsten sources in terms of look, colour temperature and colour rendering but offered the energy savings of LED and reduced the heat build-up within the display cases. Another question included whether specific lamps should be provided with additional illumination to further reveal and highlight the craftsmanship and decoration of their bases. Several mock-ups were carried out using fibre optic sources but it was eventually decided that the lighting of the bases should reflect how they were presented historically using the spill light from the shades above.

Whilst the glass staircase and Tiffany lamps themselves are the star attractions in the gallery, the lighting design challenges also included the integration of illumination to non-self-illuminated exhibits and also the descriptive texts and graphics within the gallery. dpa worked closely with the architects and the display case suppliers to integrate and conceal lighting within the cases and again mock-ups proved an invaluable tool in the testing and refining stages of the casework development.

Whilst the Tiffany gallery predominantly provides a stunning space within which to display the Tiffany lamps and present their history, the gallery can also be used by the museum to host special events. In order to respond to this additional requirement, the coves which are ordinarily lit in blue to reveal the barrel vault ceiling can be set to differing hues and brightness via a DMX system to set a more celebratory tone within the gallery.

Rounding off the floor, the Robert H. Smith Family Skylight Gallery designed by Eva Jiricna Architects provides visitors an airy, sun-soaked lounge space where they can reflect on their experience beneath a historic skylight that was part of the building’s original construction, restored with the generous support of American Express.

Client: New-York Historical Society
Architect: Eva Jiricna Architects
Local Architect: PBDW Architects
Structural Designer for Staircase: GL&SS Consulting Engineers
Lighting Control Systems and Integration: Westview Productions
M&E Consultant: ads Engineers
Photography: Corrado Serra and Jon Wallen


Night of Heritage Light – Blenheim Palace,
Oxfordshire, UK

dpa Lighting Consultants were delighted to be involved in creating the Night of Heritage Light on 1st October, and seeing one of these World Heritage sites in a way that nobody has before. This project shows the potential of light to present the world around us in a completely new way, but it also demonstrates the versatility of light and the technology behind it.

Lighting is an art as well as a science, and it’s been really exciting and a lot of fun for us to take part in this event with the SLL. We hope it will inspire the next generation of lighters, and remind others of the huge role lighting plays in their daily lives.

Client: Blenheim Palace


Dairy Art Centre, London, UK

The Dairy Art Centre is so called because it is in fact the conversion of a very old dairy in the heart of Bloomsbury in London which has lain empty for a number of years despite its prime site. Planning has been approved to turn the site into apartments but until then it has become a contemporary art gallery open to the public with free access. It is also available for special events and private functions. Due to its temporary nature there was minimum intervention to the architecture but sufficient to be able to present well artworks of all sizes and forms including an external courtyard for culture. There are a number of internal rooms which can have either daylight contribution or no daylight.

The lighting solutions were deliberately ‘economic’ utilising fluorescent battens to provide general white light with high colour rendering light sources. Additional battens mounted to the tops of roof trusses provide uplight to the open pitched roof ceilings. The external courtyard has a series of external spotlights mounted to the building. Through a simple switching arrangement different levels of illuminance can be achieved depending on the art and artist’s requirements.

Client: Frank Cohen / Nicolai Frahm
Project Manager: W.P.G
Architect: Studio Jenny Jones
Structural Engineering: Holt + Wotton
Conservation Engineering: Hayes and Adcock
Branding: North

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.

Royal Academy of Arts – Fine Rooms, London, UK

The lighting design for the ‘listed’ Fine Rooms in the Royal Academy of Arts, London was particularly challenging. The design had to provide discreet, flexible highlighting of artworks (which could change in size and location) and functional lighting at meeting tables. At the same time fixture scale and locations had to be selected with respect to the historic interiors and the fabric of the building. A further requirement was to ensure that the lighting could easily be adjusted to suit the different uses within the Fine Rooms – artwork exhibitions, boardroom meetings, social functions etc.

Low voltage spot lights were selected for the small scale, accurate colour rendition and ease of dimming. A custom designed track system was developed specifically to suit the project.

Client: Royal Academy of Arts


Natural History Museum Shop, London, UK

This building is a world famous Grade I listed museum and the shop in its current location is in a large and prominent room with highly decorative ceiling. The lighting design commission was to work closely with the client and interior designer, M Worldwide, to develop a practical and sympathetic lighting solution which at the same time provided modern retail lighting techniques and light sources. Given the listed nature of the interior much of the lighting was integrated into the display furniture for display and visual feature effect at human scale. Nevertheless despite the limited locations on which to suspend lighting from the ceiling we managed to develop solutions for large custom pendants incorporating ambient and display lighting and also contemporary suspended linear profile luminaires housing uplighting to the ceiling and directional spotlighting to the merchandise.

Awaji Doll Joruri Pavilion, Japan

dpa lighting consultants work in Japan reflects the diversity of the Practice’s activities globally, we are proud to be involved with such a wide range of project types which provides intellectual stimulation as well as a broad opportunity to learn from different schemes. We were delighted to be awarded the role of Lighting Designer on this project by Endo Shuhei Architect Institute Inc.

This theater presents Ningyo-joruri, which is played by the puppets with the Japanese traditional narratives. One puppet and three puppeteers play as one.

dpa lighting consultants proposed the light design concept of the house lights and the showcase lights at the back of the seat in the theater. The house lights deliver the light to aisles and highlight the wall dressed by roofing tiles which are produced in Awaji.

The project shows how simplicity can be just as effective as more complex and sophisticated solutions.

Architect: Endo Shuhei Architect Institute Inc

Museum of the Royal Welch Fusiliers, Wales

This project set in Caernarfon Castle was immensely challenging as a balance between building conservation and visitor excitement had to be maintained. Both criteria were equally important and in fact the castle provides a wonderful enclosure for the museum.

A combination of integral showcase lighting and carefully positioned track and spotlights, balances using a scene set control providing exactly the right mood for every exhibit. As with all projects of this nature the final commissioning is every bit as important as the initial conceptualising thus making every stage of the work on this scheme a challenge to ensure its success.

Client: Museum of Royal Welch Fusiliers
Architect: John Dangerfield

Museum of Coastal Defences, Hong Kong

The Museum of Costal Defences (Lei Yue Mun Museum) in Hong Kong has a central courtyard surrounded by a series of casemates (vaulted chambers) constructed in the ramparts of this former British fort. The courtyard has a translucent membrane structure which was developed with dpa to asses the impact of daylight into the space and more importantly, into the casemates which contain light sensitive artefacts. dpa developed with the exhibition designer a concept to limit the amount of light that passed into each casemate. This was achieved by the introduction of a simple divide at the entrance of each casemate.

Within each vaulted casemate are housed a number of display cases and stand alone artefacts that are accented with low voltage track lighting and integral fibre optic lighting to the displays where fragile and fugitive artefacts are exhibited.

Client: Museum of Coastal Defence
Architect: John Dangerfield



Fureai Minato-Kan, Osaka

Fureai Minato-Kan is the memorial museum of the relationship between Osaka in Japan and Lyon in France.

All exhibition halls are under the ground to maintain the fine views in this neighborhood.
The approaching translucent glass pathway is lit from below, which gives guests the feeling of walking on air. The colour temperature changes throughout the year between cool and warm white, depending on the current season.

Grapevine trellises on both sides of the bridge symbolise the cultural exchange between the two countries.


Blair Castle Visitors Centre, Scotland

A new build extension to Blair Castle, the North End Entrance provides a multi-use space linked to the new visitor facilities at the Castle. The simple but effective use of surface illumination and colour clearly defines the volumes and delineates the various surfaces providing both visual definition and user clarity.


Duke of York, Headquarters Building, London, UK

The brief was to create an appropriate night time landmark for this important part of Central London that sympathetically joined the Duke of York Square to the Duke of York Headquarters. Throughout the design, consideration for local residents and the environment was always significant. The challenge was to create an architecturally informed and powerful lighting response whilst maintaining restraint. Durability and maintainability were also significant considerations.

We have created this night time landmark by building up the lighting towards the classical entrance portico and providing visual orientation towards the entrances. The project utilises carefully controlled recessed asymmetric buried uplights to wash the solid walls between windows at ground floor level. The optics minimise spill light and create a pleasant softness to the buff brick façade.

The windows of the main building are internally lit from the bottom upwards, which gives an impression of movement to the ordered fenestration of the façade. A little light is deliberately allowed to spill from the windows catching the horizontal eves detail to identify this important architectural element.

The entrance portico has carefully controlled uplights and lighting within the decorative portico to expose the relief work.

The trees appear silhouetted against the building as they are up-lit on the side facing the gallery façade, which creates a different dynamic from a variety of viewing positions.

The view from Duke of York Square is significant and the night time connection with the square is harmoniously blended with the pedestrian route to the gallery. The lighting comprises of trees up-lit from the walkway side only and dappled light from Gobo projectors mounted carefully in the trees providing patterned light onto the paving. The pattern simulates sunlight coming through the trees and is deliberately focused to create a soft edge to the pattern. The advantage of removing lighting clutter through this solution was an important part of our philosophy.

The project is deliberately subtle using warm white light carefully contained, which creates an extremely efficient lighting solution that is architecturally sympathetic and environmentally aware.

Client: Cadogan Estates
Architect: PDP
Landscape Designer: Robert Myers Associates
Photography: Courtesy of Edmund Sumner.





‘Skin & Bones’ Exhibition, London, UK

dpa lighting design were appointed to design the lighting for the exhibition “Skin & Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture”, which was the first of a series of temporary exhibitions launching the new riverside Embankment Galleries at Somerset House in London.

“Skin & Bones” occupied two floors of this non-daylit gallery with a single height entrance/ introduction area below mezzanine, leading into a double height volume with glass staircase connected to the mezzanine level above. The gallery is Grade 1 listed, which greatly influenced the overall exhibition design. 

The lighting was designed in close collaboration with Eva Jiricna Architects and the curators at Somerset House to fit within the physical constraints of the gallery space and blend in with the new temporary structures of the exhibition.

In the double height space, a low voltage catenary wire system was installed to illuminate the seating area and exhibits.

Above mezzanine it was not possible to attach luminaires to the vaulted ceiling of the gallery. We therefore decided to light all of the exhibits located on the central plinth using flush adjustable low voltage uplights.

Fluorescent uplights were concealed within the top of the curved central screen, which divided the gallery into two parts, to softly illuminate the vaulted ceiling.

Client: Somerset House Trust
Architect: Eva Jiricna Architects
Exhibition fitout: DHA
Art direction: Multistorey


The Queen’s Hats & Handbags Exhibition, London, UK

This was a temporary exhibition bringing together all the Queen’s hats and handbags that Her Majesty had used in public engagements since her coronation. It was the first and only time that this collection was seen together. Architect William Russell won the competition to design the exhibition and our dpa London studio worked closely to integrate lighting into the concept. Of great importance was conservation of the exhibits and so conservation levels of illumination, less than 50 lux, had to be designed in. Further to this the lighting solution incorporated fibre-optics to eliminate heat and UV from the displays. One very interesting feature was the central display in a large glass display case where a carpet of hats are displayed as if flowers in a meadow. Each hat is on its own stem stand which slowly rotates with a motor below the floor. Each hat is modelled with two small fibre-optic heads per hat with light sources again below the raised floor.