The architecturally significant 1903 Audrain Building, located in the heart of Newport Rhode Island’s commercial district, was transformed in 2014 by Northeast Collaborative Architects into one of the most unique Automobile Museums in North America. Its automobile collection is comprised of over 160 of the rarest and most remarkable vehicles in history, and houses fully restored vehicles ranging from the beginning of the 20th Century to modern day.

To transform the first floor into a state of the art auto museum, NCA removed existing bearing walls, shored the structure, reinforced flooring and installed steel trusses. The South elevation was upgraded with a two story arched opening that allows cars to access the exhibit space.  The work horse for the display lighting is accomplished with the architectural integration of LSI’s 2 circuit Track incorporated within a parallelogram. The flexibility of the lighting design follows the museums intent to “keep it fresh.” The entire collection is never displayed at once. Instead, vehicles are showcased based on periodically changing exhibition themes. This gives visitors and members of the museum the opportunity to have a completely unique experience with each visit.

Light Insight Design Studio selected LED lighting fixtures from Lighting Services Inc, the LumeLEX LX2044 and LX2030 Series spotlights, and LX2047 Series wallwashers, because of their precision controlled beamspreads and high color rendering (CRI of 98). The color quality of the LumeLEX Series fixtures was critical in order to represent the accuracy of the paint finishes, and the richness of the automobile’s interiors, important to the collections integrity.  Large windows on the first floor of the building required the use of prominent vertical illumination for proper viewing from the street. This technique, as designed by Principal Lighting Designer Lana Nathe allows for specific automobiles to appear in elegant silhouette against the backdrop of a tastefully restored building.

Photo Credits:  Images Courtesy Northeast Collaborative Architects

Photographer:  Ben Jacobsen Photo 


Notable Installations

Museum of the Bible

Washington, DC

Google Spruce Goose

Playa Vista, CA

Academy Museum of Motion Pictures

Los Angels, CA