Taiwan – National Taiwan Museum: a neo-classical masterpiece in Far East

Set up in 1908 by the colonial government during the Japanese rule, the National Taiwan Museum (NTM) is nowadays the oldest museum on the whole island. Located within the 2/28 Memorial Peace Park on Xiangyang Road, the museum includes five departments – anthropology, earth sciences, zoology, botany and education – featuring specimens of native animals and vegetation as well as man-made artifacts. Its elegant neo-classical architecture, along with the many permanent and temporary collections and its unique geographical position, have made the museum, which was declared “National Heritage Site” in 1998, an important landmark in Taipei.

As a matter of fact, fifty years of Japanese rule – from 1895 to 1945 – brought about many changes in Taiwan life style, economy and architecture. While industrialization and agriculture were strongly promoted, so that Taiwan turned into the “(Japanese) kingdom of rice and sugar”, a strong repression was carried out by the Japanese military forces, in order to put down any rebellion attempt. As the years passed by, Taiwan gradually began embarking on a different developmental direction from Japan and Mainland China in literature, fine arts, paintings, architecture etc., due to its social activism and influence from Western cultures.

The imported neo-classicism revived some of the constructions of those years with a new spirit of cultural rebellion. Based upon a range of conventional forms and proportions dating back to the ancient Greek and Roman periods, the National Taiwan Museum encompasses all the elements of neo-classicism in its layout. Its façade features a long colonnade with an outstanding central Greek-temple-shaped main entry flanked by two symmetrical lateral wings ending up with a minor four porch. Doric columns embellish the whole perimeter, while a huge dome towers above the central block of the building, probably inspired by the peculiar shape of the Roman Pantheon.

A recent lighting renovation project, developed by the appointed Lighting design company, I Jane Lo Lighting Design, highlights the central block of the museum with attractive scenes of dynamic and bright rainbow colours. Seven different lighting scenes have been defined according to specific occasions and seasons. A warm white shade has been chosen for the everyday clock strikes, the colours of the Taiwan flag – red, blue and white – will enlighten the New Year’s eve and the Country Birthday; a light blue has been preferred for the Mid-Autumn Festival (or Moon Festival), red and green for Christmas, a soft pink for Valentine’s Day, mixed shades of light blue and green for the Museum Anniversary and a deep red for the beginning of the Lunar New Year.

The installation company and contractor, Hotronic Enterprise Co., Ltd., has specified and imported GRIVEN LED lighting fixtures in order to reach the required lighting scheme that needed a very strong light intensity and even colour distribution. 8 Zaphir RGBW with wide optics have been installed on the roof of the museum to light up the dome. 15 Powershine MK2 S RGBW with mixed optics, have been mounted on poles located in front of the building in order to enlighten the front entrance according to the different colour scenes. A particular focus has been set to the gable, whose beautiful decorative frieze fitted with a central crest and artistic floreal decorations is enhanced by a spot warm white light on every occasion.

Developed for refined architectural lighting, Zaphir RGBW features 40 RGBW power LEDs, that are capable of delivering a remarkable performance from an extremely compact unit. The comprehensive selection of optics groups available makes this colour changer suitable for a variety of lighting installations which require maximum photometric flexibility. Its capacitive touchscreen display allows for a direct access to all on-board functions. The full digital control system, obtainable from any five-channel remote DMX512 control desk, includes also stand alone functions implemented by pre-configured colour sequences and master/slave mode for multiple units synchronization.

Project Name: National Taiwan Museum
Lighting Designer: I Jane Lo Lighting Design
Installation contractor: Hotronic Enterprise Co., Ltd.

Products specified:
8 x AL2353 Zaphir RGBW Wide optics
4 x AL3700 Powershine MK2 S RGBW Spot optics
5 x AL3703 Powershine MK2 S RGBW Wide optics
6 x AL3704 Powershine MK2 S RGBW Elliptical optics
12 x AL2128 4-leaf barndoor for Powershine S

Info: www.griven.it

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