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“La Dame à la Licorne” (Lady and the Unicorn) National Museum of the Middle Ages (Musée de Cluny) Paris

“La Dame à la Licorne” (Lady and the Unicorn) National Museum of the Middle Ages (Musée de Cluny) Paris

Sunday July 05, 2015
KKDC France were pleased to have worked with Francois Magos to provide the linear illumination for the redevelopment of the presentation room for the “La Dame à la Licorne” (Lady and the Unicorn).

Architect: Atelier CAIRN Paul Barnoud, ACMHS. Lyon
Lighting design: François Magos, assisted by Philippe Michel. Paris
Photography: Jean Garcin

The luminaires employed are KKDC SEN 100 LED lighting high power profiles with a lens of 30 °. The number of LEDs is 10 units / m, a 100mm spacing between LEDs.

At the end of 2012, the National Museum of the Middle Ages (Musée de Cluny) entrusted Paul Barnoud, chief architect of historical monuments, the mission for the full redevelopment of the presentation room for the “Dame à la Licorne” (Lady and the Unicorn), a set of 6 hanging tapestries created in the late fifteenth century, and the leading major work of the museum. Paul Barnoud wanted this new presentation to have a particular reflection on lighting of these exceptional works, and so he enlisted the expertise of François Magos, Lighting Designer, from the very start of the studies.

Description of the principle for lighting the tapestries
It is a linear illumination principle from the ceiling using an angle of approximately 20 ° from the vertical, whose length corresponds to that of the tapestries and thus allows for an excellent uniformity of illumination on the horizontal plane onto the art works.
Vertical consistency is achieved by orienting the focal point of the luminaires towards the lower part of the works.
The luminaires employed are high power LED lighting profiles with 30 ° lenses (model SEN 100/ KKDC). The number of LEDs is 10 units/m, 100mm spacing between LEDs.
The lighting system is integrated into a linear custom made metal recessed ceiling casing 120mm square section.
The lower part of the metalwork is closed by two flat steel plates, adjusted to the ceiling line. These plates can be adjusted in terms of their spacing and operate like knifes, framing in a soft and digressive way the light on the tapestries, by blocking the unwanted peripheral light emitted.

Selecting the color temperature
The selection of the colour temperature of the LED light was the result of numerous tests. The colour temperature finally adopted was 3800K, specifically developed by KKDC, proved to be undeniably the best compromise in terms of color tones present in the tapestries of the Lady and the Unicorn, composed of a large majority of warm colours (red), which form the background, and a minority of cool colours (blue and green), dedicated to the topics of the tapestries.
This colour temperature, combined with excellent CRI (90) proved to be the best compromise between light colors commonly known as "warm white" and "cool white".

Piloting the lighting fixtures
Each lighting fixture or group dedicated to the lighting of one of the 6 tapestries is equipped with a "driver" for a gradation to a level of 5%. A dynamic control device allows among other functionality to create a lighting synopsis operating as a slow wave of light moving from one tapestry to another. The end of the "loop" which has a duration of around 1 minute, ends with a general illumination of all the tapestries.

The design team for this project would like to thank the French antenna of KKDC who assisted assiduously throughout the project both in the design phase and in the implementation.