The Muzej Apoksiomena in the Croatian town of Mali Lošinj has used scenic lighting to tell the emotive story of the statue of Apoxyomenos that was discovered in the Mediterranean Sea in 1996.
Following years of meticulous restoration work on the 2,000-year-old bronze statue, Croatian architects Idis Turato and Saša Randic have designed a new museum for Apoxyomenos.
Working with the architects and other planners, Zumtobel devised a tailor-made lighting concept using a range of LED solutions to bring the story of the statue to life.
The Muzej Apoksiomena features a glass roof structure and a covered entrance area, which is actually an expansive balcony.
A special feature of the museum is revealed as evening approaches: coloured rays of light.
The outer wall and balcony appear as a composition of coloured surfaces before visitors experience the historic story unfolding as they pass through the museum’s rooms.
The first image of this visual journey is the seabed. On entering the museum, visitors find themselves in a hollowed-out building with bright cobalt-blue walls.
A freely positioned white steel structure seems to hover above, with roughly welded steel plates that resemble the hull of a powerful ship.
Zumtobel installed LEDs in low-voltage tracks on the steel body and LED strips integrated into the floor along the walls combine to focus attention on these room-defining elements.
An escalator concealed in a white sheet-steel tube leads up inside the spatial sculpture to the first exhibition space.
The story continues in the neighbouring cinema, where a colourful interior design evokes images of aquatic plants, with a covering over the seating steps, and walls and ceiling with floral patterns made from hand-woven merino wool.
The general impression of an underwater world is reinforced by floor-recessed luminaires, which use flowing colour transitions to generate a murky subaquatic atmosphere.
Visitors then wander up a completely red staircase into the media room, before another staircase with vibrant olive-wood wall panelling leads to the top floor, where items discovered inside the figure on the seabed – such as branches, herb seeds and olive stones – are displayed in small, wall-mounted showcases.
Precise accent lighting of the objects is achieved with the help of the miniaturised LED lighting system.
Without any colours and without any hint of shadow, the white main chamber that houses the actual 1.92m Apoxyomenos statue represents the mystical high point of the museum.
This was achieved using a white floor and white textile walls that merge into the ceiling.
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