Fotografiska Museum

June 23, 2021

CHALLENGE: Illuminate the interior of the museum’s restaurant, Veronika, in a manner that complements the feel of the landmarked Renaissance Revival Church Missions House, but also the award-winning illumination of its façade. 

INFLUENCE: Winning an Award of Excellence in the 2021 IESNYC Lumen Awards, the former church facility has been adaptively reused into a photography museum, “Fotografiska.” The use of low-profile façade lighting unifies the stone exterior and frames the interior spaces, from the ground floor bookshop and café to the second-floor restaurant and galleries above with LED fixtures, individually selected for optical control and high color rendering. The goal of the project, designed by architects CetraRuddy, and Kugler Ning Lighting, was to illuminate architectural details and draw attention to the facility. LED sources include a blend of 2700K and 3000K fixtures with controlled beams to highlight columns and deep-set sills. The galleries are blocked from windows with walls, upon which video displays are projected. The museum operates until late at night, and houses three levels of galleries, a top-floor event space, a first-floor book store, and restaurant on it’s second floor—Veronika. Created by restaurateur Steven Starr, Veronika is an opulent new addition to Park Avenue South.

SOLUTION: The restaurant’s lighting design, by L’Observatoire International, is inspired by the moody qualities of photography in its earliest forms, as well as the tone, texture and timbre of the “grand cafés” that populated Europe before the turn of the 20th century. It features 2020 SSL PIA winner Lucetta’s CELESTE Linear, and Dim-to-Warm lighting throughout to complement the architecture and interior finishes.

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Project Specs: Fotografiska Museum, New York // Architecture: CetraRuddy // Lighting Design: Kugler Ning (main building), and L’Observatoire International (restaurant) // Photography: Courtesy IESNYC/David Sundberg, Esto // Lighting: Lucetta Celeste.

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