ETC in National Maritime Museum Cornwall

Not only a new landmark, but a watermark on the south-western English coast,
the National Maritime Museum Cornwall (NMMC) in Falmouth will open its doors
to the public for the first time in December 2002. Set to be ‘an experience
as big as the sea’, the museum chose the best designers to help realise the
design and the best equipment to run it.

Designed by award-winning architects Long & Kentish, the magnificent harbourside building both blends with and enhances its surroundings. The
exhibitions were designed by Land Design Studio and Kevin Theobald, of another award-winning company, London-based Maurice Brill Lighting Design, was Project Lighting Designer. Although an unconventional looking building, the museum is fitted for the most part with conventional exhibition lighting equipment. But for two of the galleries, the Dark Gallery and the Daylit Gallery, more sophisticated lighting systems were needed.

Photo credit: Bob Berry

The Dark Gallery required a control system able to co-ordinate the lighting
with an AV system, so Theobald specified an ETC Express 250 Lighting
Playback Controller (LPC) linked via MIDI show control to the AV system and
four racks of Unison dimming and non-dim control. “I am always confident in
combining Unison dimming and Express LPCs,” said Theobald, who also specified this equipment for ‘Arrive’, a part of the recently opened Urbis experience in Manchester. He explained: “It is ideal for multi-media exhibition spaces because it allows for the interplay between theatrical and architectural lighting.” For the Daylit

Gallery, Theobald specified Unison dimming and non-dim control, partly cued
by a photocell that is related to the daylight.

The special lighting equipment was supplied and installed by Enliten, the
architectural division of the White Light Group. “The Unison/Express 250
combination is a typical solution because it is reliable, compact and affordable,” said Paul Simson, Managing Director of Enliten. The conventional exhibition gallery lighting was supplied by Mike Stoane Lighting from Edinburgh.

Also installed in the two galleries are more than 120 various Source Fours,
including 43 special Source Four jr Zooms, modified by Entliten and custom-made for the Daylit Gallery. These HID luminaires use a 150W metal halide lamp with high output, low power consumption, low running temperature and a lifespan of 9000 hours [which equals one year of continuous running]. The luminaires were also coated in Enliten’s special architectural metallic silver paint finish to match the interior.

Paul Simson said: “Enliten specialises in projects using theatrical style
lighting and effects in architectural and themed entertainment applications.
For Enliten, metal halide lamp options and custom paint finishes for Source
Four fixtures are part of our standard range.”

On the 27th July 1999 HRH The Duke of Edinburgh laid the foundation stone at
the Museum’s site in Falmouth. The Royal connection continued on May 1st this year, when a visit to the NMMC by HM The Queen and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh marked the beginning of the Queen’s national Golden Jubilee tour.

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