Indoor architectural lighting

Illumination of a century-old building

Musée des Métiers d’Art du Québec (MUMAQ)

Montreal, Québec, 2020

The Musée des Métiers d’Art du Québec (MUMAQ) is located within the Émile-Legault Pavilion of Cégep de Saint-Laurent, which is housed in the former St. Paul Presbyterian Church, the only building of its kind in the province. The site was transformed into a museum in 1962 under the name Nova et Vetera. It was later renamed Galerie Kébec and, subsequently, the Musée d’art de Saint-Laurent in 1977. In 2003, it shifted its focus to become the Musée des maîtres et artisans du Québec. Its current name, the Musée des Métiers d’Art du Québec, was bestowed upon it in 2020. 

The museum’s mission is to celebrate the history and heritage of arts and crafts in Quebec through several permanent collections comprising more than 14,000 objects. In addition to the many artefacts it holds, the museum hosts a number of cultural and educational activities throughout the year as well as temporary exhibitions dedicated to the know-how and creativity of the province’s artisans.

Description

As part of its repositioning in the Quebec museum community, MUMAQ wanted to rebrand itself as a modern, appealing and entertaining destination. Having already embraced a new name and visual identity, it was determined to follow suit within the venue itself, with a fresh new look that put its collections front and centre.  

MUMAQ therefore called upon the expertise of XYZ and the lighting designer Christopher Rayment to upgrade the existing indoor lighting and install a new architectural system.  

The goal was to utilize this new system to showcase the unique features of the building and underscore the quality of the artisan-made objects on display by focusing on specific architectural elements.  

Many of the technical challenges in this regard were related to the century-old structure of the building. The team had to create several custom installations to work around the limited access to the electrical system without affecting the original architecture.  

Projectors with a range of 100 feet and fitted with special masks were used to direct light exclusively to the 10-metre-high central arch. 

A number of inventive solutions were also developed to highlight specific architectural details, such as the heads of sculpted angels, the organ, the Way of the Cross, the vaulted ceiling and the permanent exhibition in the museum’s central space.  

The projector mounts were custom painted and carefully positioned to blend seamlessly into their surroundings and complement the overall esthetic.  

The layout of the lights was designed in a way to limit the need for additional wiring between each element and the electrical panel, with timers incorporated into some of the existing circuitry.  

Le design d’éclairage a été pensé pour limiter l’ajout de nouveau câbles électriques jusqu’au au panneau principal grâce à des minuteries placées sur certains circuits existants. 

Expertise

  • Lighting
  • Rigging

Mandate

Lighting design
Equipment supply
Installation
Calibration and programming