General Information and Resources:

IDL Design Guide: Daylighting Museums Guide (pdf)

This simple design guide will help you with designing daylit museums. We've included:

  • why it is important to daylight museums
  • the basics of museum daylighting
  • rules of thumb for design
  • generic building sections for possible daylighting schemes
  • information about lighting art and artifacts
  • examples and case studies of successful daylit museums and galleries


Case Studies:


Beyeler Foundation

Renzo Piano designed the Beyeler Foundation Museum in Basel, Switzerland to use daylight as the main source of illumination throughout the ground floor.  The design maximizes the number of hours during which the collection can be viewed by daylight, while still protecting the art work from harmful UV rays, with the use of a multi-layered roof which modulates the effects of the sky and the sun.  Click on the link above to learn more. 


High Museum of Art

Renzo Piano describes his design for the addition to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia as a search for northern light.  The 1000 skylights are angled to optimize natural light in the galleries.  The design is quite active, and at the same time serene.  The light makes the room alive.  Click on the link above to learn more. 



National Gallery of Canada 

Using daylight for illumination in the galleries was a high priority for Moshe Safdie's design team.  They used various modeling techniques to design a skylight system that would bring light into both the upper and lower galleries.  Click the link above to learn more.