Illumination Appreciation

The lights of His Majesty’s Theatre in Perth have received an Award of Merit at the international IES Illumination Awards, recognising their contribution to originality and ingenuity in lighting design.

The design, by Klaasen Lighting Design incorporates the latest technology to light up the heritage architecture of the building, while keeping fixtures as invisible as possible. Every facet was developed in careful consideration of minimising energy, glare and spill light.

Utilising white light primarily (3000k), the brightness distribution slowly increases towards the top of the building to highlight the ornamental balconies and window frames and fades for the columns. The effect is crisp and natural lighting that feels balanced across the whole façade.

Colour was brought into the semi-transparent canopy awning at street level to express the theatrical side of the venue in a contemporary manner. This playful and contemporary component adds the opportunity to blend the building with seasonal festivities, city celebrations and corporate events.

Given the theatre environment, power availability was no issue, but getting the power to the façade was the main challenge. Impressively, the energy load for the entire façade uses just one kilowatt.

For designers Martin Klaasen and Stan White, the uniqueness comes in the simplicity of their concept, to let the architecture do the talking, rather than the light fixtures.

“The most rewarding thing was that we were able to achieve the magical lighting effect within budget, with minimal electrical loading and without touching the façade, to everyone’s satisfaction. The lighting feels like it has always been there, it feels natural and everyone appreciates the architectural features of the building rather than the lighting.”

Perth’s most historic theatre, His Majesty’s is Edwardian Baroque in style and was built between 1902 and 1904.

Photos by Ron Tan courtesy Klaasen Lighting Design.