Lighting Up St. Pete
- By Irina Titova
- Oct. 04 2010 00:00
Philips set to illuminate the state hermitage museum again.
Lighting up St. Petersburg's Hermitage museum is a contract that would mean something for any electric company, but when Anton Philips signed a contract in 1898 to illuminate the residence of the Russian royal family, it was the start of something very big.
That contract for 50,000 coal lights was a key one for Philips, the first export contract for the Dutch company which at the time had only ten employees. Today, Philips is a world brand with more than 100,000 employees in more than 60 countries, and it recently returned to the Hermitage to once again provide lighting.
The Hermitage, today one of the world's great museums, signed an agreement with Philips again in February to provide lighting to its museum interiors and exterior sights.
One of St. Petersburg's main symbols, the Alexander Column in Palace Square, built in honor of Russia's victory over Napoleon, will be illuminated with diodes provided by Philips. The diodes will light up the column with an emphasis on the angel at the top and the pedestal, but at the same time they will economize the use of electricity.
Philips will also provide illumination inside the museum, in the Jordan Gallery, which was built in the mid-17th century by Italian architect Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli. It is on the ground floor of the museum, where most visitors enter the Hermitage, and it will be lit up with diodes that have a durability of 5,000 hours.
In the St. George Hall, otherwise known as the Large Throne Room, light-emitting diodes from the Novallure series will decrease power consumption by seven times but do nothing to change how the hall is perceived.
Any new light has to look natural in the museum and be comfortable for visitors, said Vladimir Fyodorov, coordinator of the project for the Hermitage.
The Philips project is "very important for the museum," said Fyodorov "First, it will give the Hermitage opportunities to create a new atmosphere in some of its halls. Secondly, it is a good example of modern technology transfer which saves energy but at the same time does not contradict historical interiors."
Before signing the deal, Philips already had experience working in the museum after installing energy-efficient lamps in the Menshikov Palace that improved visible perception in its rooms and brought savings of 45 percent on energy consumption.
Philips will provide illumination in the museum, in the Jordan gallery, where most visitors enter the Hermitage.
Philips has installed dynamic lighting in the Hermitage's Stables Museum, which allows the museum to recreate the effects of carriage movement at night in St. Petersburg.
"The Hermitage is interested in innovations as it follows the state's policy on modern technologies," said Fyodorov, referring to President Dmitry Medvedev's drive for the country's modernization.
Unlike in the 19th century, Philips' involvement in Russia is not confined to lighting. The company is now a world leader in medical equipment and teamed up in 2010 with the Russian research and production complex, Elektron, to set up an innovation partnership that can follow a complete cycle, from development to production of high-tech medical equipment.
Based in St. Petersburg, the duo plan on developing and producing NMR scanning, x-ray, and ultrasound equipment.
Experts say Russia has a huge demand for high-tech medical equipment, with a need for up to 3,500 KT-scanners and 2,000 NMR systems.
Most high-tech medical equipment is currently imported, and the partnership is part of a plan the government has to make Russia more self-sufficient.
"The modernization of the health system in Russia is a complicated and complex task," said Joost Leeflang, general director of Philips in Russia, Ukraine, Belorussia and Central Asia. "The innovation partnership between Philips and Elektron will contribute to the modernization of Russia's health system simultaneously on several levels including technological, economic and strategic ones. At the same, it will help to combine world experience with the real demands and innovation potential of the Russian health system."
"The expansion of our production and commercial presence in fast growing markets, such as Russia, allows us to get deeper understanding of realities for national health systems," said Ronald de Jong, senior vice-president and general director of Philips' public health committee for countries with developing economies. "The partnership with the leader of the Russian market gives us an opportunity to offer the products and decisions that meet the demands of Russian institutions and its patients to a higher extent and therefore to promote the development and increase the effectiveness of the health system of this country."