The Shirvanshahs Palace Complex, built in the fifteenth century, is one of the pearls of Azerbaijan's architecture and since 1964 it has housed the state history and architecture museum. More recently it was declared to be a world heritage site by UNESCO. The complex is at the highest point of one of the hills of the ancient Baku fortress. Divided in a picturesque fashion over three terraces, one above the other, it can be seen from the sea and from the high ground surrounding the city. Inside, there is a residence, the Divankhana pavilion, the Shirvanshahs tomb, the palace mosque with a minaret, a Turkish bath, the mausoleum of court scientist Seyid Yahya Bakuvi and the eastern gate which was a later addition.
Since the entire complex is subject to strict conservation rules, the electrical system and installation of the luminaires were absolutely not allowed to affect the surfaces. For example, recessed Linealuce luminaires were only used in recently constructed parts of the floor, which were not covered by the protection rules. Also, given the rich decorations of the gates, the guiding idea for the entire project was to make the most of the various entrances and gateways without the luminaires being too apparent. This resulted in the choice of floodlights located on the roofs of the various buildings in the complex. This method of installation was applied in most cases, except for the palace porticoes, where Radius floodlights stand on the ground at the back of the columns, the cables passing through the gaps in the ancient stone blocks: a solution which left the precious materials untouched. The residence in the complex features a magnificent gate, lit by Radius floodlights, with niches having deep shadows and upper windows decorated with “shebeke”.
All of the walls are uniformly lit with LED Light Up luminaires. The Divankhana was the site of official receptions and state meetings. At the centre there is a stone dome with pointed arches, surrounded by the portico of a closed courtyard. The more internal arcade is lit using Radius floodlights resting on the ground. In the courtyard to the south of the complex is the octagonal mausoleum of court scientist Seyid Yahya Bakuvi and the palace mosque is close to the tomb. The minaret bears an elegant Arabic script dating the building, 1441. The domes and minaret are lit with the crossed beams of iPro 150 W and Woody 70 W luminaires, both having a spot optic. The lower part of the complex, below the palace level, includes the Turkish bath, which has been destroyed. However, the remains provide important information about the rational layout of its rooms and the expertly constructed system for water inflow and heating.
This area was also subject to the ban on wiring luminaires, meaning that it was lit by the beams of Platea floodlights. The effect is general light, without too much shadow. Another area worked on where the constraints were very strict was the passageway used to display archaeological finds from various areas in the country. In this case, the existing lighting points were substituted with new iWay luminaires.
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