Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture

Thanks to the user-friendly capabilities of Casambi technology, HLB Lighting implemented a dynamic lighting system with Targetti fixtures, enabling instant adaptation to the museum’s evolving needs. 

This transformation of a 1964 mid-century, heritage-laden library into The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture marks a significant collaboration between architects Page & Turnbull and museum architects WHY. The project aimed to preserve the historic essence of the building while incorporating modern functionality and aesthetics. Lighting design, a crucial element, was entrusted to HLB Lighting, led by Senior Principal Designer Tina Aghassian

“It is a historic building, so careful integration of modern products into a historic building is really important. We wanted to make sure the products are very simple looking and don’t call attention to themselves,” remarks Aghassian. 

Affectionately known as “The Cheech,” the Center, a public-private partnership between RAM, the City of Riverside, and comedian Cheech Marin, celebrates Chicano painting, sculpture, and photography. With 61,420 square feet of space curated with a variety of paintings from Cheech Marin’s extensive collection, the building serves as a cornerstone for Chicano art and culture. 

Preserving the historical integrity of the building while integrating advanced lighting technology presented a significant challenge. The design team meticulously selected Targetti‘s LEDO DBS (Dynamic Beam Shaping) fixtures with Eurostandard Surface Track for their seamless blend of modern functionality and museum-specific design. Over 500 pieces of Targetti’s LEDO track lighting were strategically installed throughout the museum, offering precise beam control, high-quality light, and excellent color rendering. 

The integration of Casambi technology provided museum staff with the flexibility to remotely adjust individual fixtures’ beam and dimming from the comfort of their smart devices, ensuring adaptability as exhibits rotate and evolve. 440 fixtures with individual Casambi nodes were separated into networks, allowing for easy adjustment of lighting within individual gallery spaces and the fine-tuning of lighting for unique art pieces. This technological integration not only enhanced control but also contributed to sustainability efforts by reducing material usage across the 440 individual fixtures. 

“We chose the Targetti fixtures because we experienced firsthand the great job they did in the museums in Italy. And we wanted to look at future technology – that’s why we chose LEDO with DBS and Casambi to give us the flexibility to change the beam spread with the touch of a button. We felt that this would be helpful to the museum staff,” Aghassian explains. 

The Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture exemplifies the perfect blending of history and modernity. Through the strategic integration of Targetti’s fixtures and Casambi controls, the project achieved a dynamic lighting system that adapts to the evolving needs of the museum while upholding sustainable practices and keeping the original vintage features of the building intact. 

Cheech Marin Center for Chicano Art & Culture

California, USA


Page & Turnbull 

Museum architecture
Lighting Design
HLB Lighting, Tina Aghassian, Senior Principal Designer 

Casambi Nodes

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