Qianlong Garden Interior Lighting, Forbidden City of Beijing, China
A low voltage system illuminates historic murals covering the walls and ceiling of the private
theater two story space without disturbing the historic fabric, and also reveals living and working
quarters throughout the building. The system uses remote transformers and mostly track
mounted halogen fixtures. This approach has the advantages of small fixture size in the spaces
on display, flexibility in placement and aiming of fixtures, dimming capability, low ultraviolet
radiation, good color rendering capability, and a “warm” light color compatible with that of
historic sources. The design uses multiple small sources of no more than 50 watts each.
Illuminance is less than the 50 lux maximum recommended for conservation of materials.
The design lights the theater ceiling from accent fixtures mounted behind the decorative screens
next to the front of the theater pavilion. The walls behind the screens are illuminated from wall
washers attached to tracks on the floor. The murals between the pavilion and the viewing
gallery are lit from accent fixtures mounted in the viewing gallery.
The living spaces are illuminated mostly with low voltage track. Historic lantern replicas
contribute fill light as well as additional light for walking, and lend atmosphere to the scene.
The fixtures are circuited in zones and controlled by dimmers to allow adjustment of the lighting
effects and minimize exposure of materials sensitive to light.
This initial phase of a collaborative restoration project opened to the public for the first time
during the 2008 Olympics.
Size: need size
Consultant: Parsons Brinckerhoff
Location: Forbidden City of Beijing, China