Friday, Jun 1, 2012

IES: The Lighting Society has awarded its top honour, The Supreme Brilliance Award, for lighting excellence

World-class excellence in lighting design


IES: The Lighting Society has awarded its top honour, The Supreme Brilliance Award, for lighting excellence to the Museum of Old & New Art (MONA), located in Hobart, Tasmania.

The announcement was made at a function held today in Sydney, alongside the spectacular Vivid Sydney Festival.


Held in The Rocks precinct, situated amidst an array of immersive outdoor light installations and projections, the awards event singled out a number of world-class lighting projects that were shortlisted for the IES’ annual ANZ Excellence Awards. They included a number of exhibition and gallery spaces, as well as office buildings and the lighting of the Auckland International Airport.

Awarded the 2012 IESANZ Excellence Awards were:


- John Kaldor Family Gallery, Art Gallery of NSW (Steensen Varming)

- Museum of Old & New Art (MONA), Berriedale, Hobart (Vision Design)

- Hall of Valour, Australian War Memorial, Canberra (Steensen Varming)

- ACTEWAGL, Foyer-Ground Floor, Canberra (Fink Design)

- Queensland Emergency Operations Centre, Kedron, Queensland (Medland Metropolis)

- Auckland International Airport, New Zealand (BECA)


Excellence Awards judge, Professor Warren Julian, said, "An overwhelming characteristic of all the successful entries was the amount of research and/or experimentation that took place in the development of the successful solutions.

"All went far beyond producing a minimal, sufficient solution for the lighting problem. This indicates that the designers showed a dedication and a commitment that, together with their considerable design skills, led to the highly successful results achieved."

Professor Julian was joined this year in judging the awards, by distinguished lighting designers Geoff Waller from New Zealand and Peter McLean from Australia. This esteemed panel decided to award the top honour to MONA and in particular, for its outstanding display lighting.


Designed by Adam Meredith (MONA) and Donn Salisbury and Katarina Verkic (Vision Design) the lighting design for MONA has two main components: the lighting of the galleries and the lighting of the works of art.


In the view of the judges, MONA is exceptional in many ways but most particularly in the way it displays its collection. Unlike many public museums that often appear cluttered in an attempt to display as much of their collection as possible, MONA is uncluttered so objects can be displayed in the best possible light. Small objects are displayed in superbly designed cases that use fibre optics, with suitable lenses to provide hidden, glare-free lighting. Objects are also mounted for optimal viewing, for example, Roman gold coins are mounted on black stalks well forward of the black display back board and close to the case’s window and miniature spotlights, allowing close viewing of the coins’ details.


"The display techniques and the display lighting set MONA apart from almost every other museum in the world," said Professor Julian.

"A lot of time, space, money and expertise was employed in providing not only a suitable environment for the display of objects but also in creating an interesting and often tantalising one."


The ANZ Excellence Awards are an important component of recognising excellence in lighting design in Australia and New Zealand, according to IES President Steve Coyne.

"The awards also highlight the considerable expertise and skills of lighting professionals and reaffirms their contributions as an essential part of the construction and design of our buildings, cultural and sacred places, and our public spaces.

"We congratulate all the winners of this year’s awards and present them to Australia, New Zealand and the rest of the world, as leading the way in visionary, innovative, and technically brilliant lighting solutions which create visually delightful experiences for people," said Coyne.


For more information contact:

IES Director of Awards David Rooke on  0420 305 040. Email:

About the IES: The Lighting Society

The Illuminating Engineering Society of Australia and New Zealand Ltd operates under the name, IES: The Lighting Society. an organisation with chapters in the five mainland States of Australia and New Zealand.

The aim of the Society is the advancement of the art and science of illumination and the dissemination of knowledge to all interested parties. The Society provides formal lighting education programs and has a diversified membership which includes engineers, architects, educators, students, contractors, manufacturers and designers.

For further information visit:


About the Museum of Old & New Art

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) is an art museum located within the Moorilla winery on the Berriedale peninsula in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. It is the largest privately funded museum in Australia. Described by owner David Walsh as a "subversive adult Disneyland", the museum presents antiquities, modern and contemporary art from Walsh’s collection. Operational costs of $8 million per annum are underpinned by the winery, brewery, restaurant and hotel on the same site.