Page 1

A GUIDE TO NORDIC LIGHT Case Studies Across the Region Christopher Morris


A Guide to Nordic Light Case Studies Across the Region


06 08











20 24 32

:Birgitte Bundesen Svarre


:Whitenight Lighting OY


:Dr. Thomas Schielke












:Royal Danish Playhouse


:Danish Jewish Museum


:Your Rainbow Panorama


:Your Atmospheric Colour Atlas





:Moderna Museet








:Malmรถ Live



:University of Helsinki Library


:Seinäjoki Public Library






:LUX Helsinki


:Helsinki Central Library



:Oslo Opera House


:Kilden Performing Arts Centre


:Paleet Shopping Centre


:Lantern Pavilion







:Pixel Cloud







:Regional Profile


:Seattle Central Library


:Natural Inspiration


:Key Takeaways





HE NORDIC COUNTRIES ARE A very special place

dynamic conditions throughout the year and

within Europe - stemming from

around light, from winter light festivals to

the historical presence of a

concert venues outdoors during the midnight

consistently put on events that are based

society that helps each other out, all five

sun. The fascinating part of lighting design

are considered social welfare states where

within the Nordic countries is the personal

individual freedom, as well as collective

interaction that the people have with it.

freedom, is put at the forefront of social

This book dives in to explore the way

issues that encompass and bear relevance

public infrastructure throughout the five

to the entire population. Design is something

Nordic countries integrates lighting design

that comes through in everyday life for a

within well design spaces, in order to have an

Nordic resident. Rather than simply being

effect on people when they experience their

a luxury for a group of individuals, design in

environment around them. Each country,

the Nordic countries stems from the idea of

although way to multi-faceted to summarize

putting importance on functionality for the

in just one book, has its unique base within


the design world, but comes together with

Architecture and lighting design throughout the Nordic countries is also designed for practicality, functionality, and for the everyday person. Architecture in this region focuses on civic infrastructure and well-being for the user in the space, all while encompassing the aesthetics of the region. Reveling in the light, particularly this far up north, is something that Nordic people are good at. They take advantage of the

the other four in order to create a feeling that can be described as “Nordic.�



:DENMARK OFFICIAL NAME: Kongeriget Danmark CAPITAL: Copenhagen POPULATION: 5.7 Million SOUTHERN LATITUDE: Gedser - 54°34’N NORTHERN LATITUDE: Skagen - 57°44’N KINGDOM: Faroe Islands, Greenland DENSITY: 132.95/km2 | 344.4/sq mi MAJOR CITIES: Aarhus, Odense, Aalborg


SUNRISE: 08:37

SUNSET: 15:39



SUNRISE: 04:25

SUNSET: 21:58




like molded plywood. With designers such as

picture for the Nordic

designers Charles and Ray Eeames, Danish

countryside. The relatively flat,

designers always led the pack for iconic

Finnish designer Alvar Aalto and American

main islands of Sjælland and Fyn connect the

furniture design as well with Arne Jacobsen,

continental region of Jutland to the capital

Hans Wegner, and Børge Mogensen.

of Copenhagen, where roughly two million

Danish architecture seeks to fully

Danes live. Copenhagen is the central hub

benefit its user to the maximum potential.

of the country and also serves as the main

There is a strong sense among the design

connection point to Sweden via the Øresund

community for efficient design that is multi-


functional, combining programs such as

Denmark has had a strong tradition

transportation hubs, museums, and libraries

of furniture design throughout the country.

into a place of accessibility, congregation,

Starting in the 1930s, Danish furniture grew

and comfortability.

extremely popular and eventually makers starting leaning towards new techniques

:SWEDEN OFFICIAL NAME: Konungariket Sverige CAPITAL: Stockholm POPULATION: 9.85 Million SOUTHERN LATITUDE: Smygehuk - 55°33’N NORTHERN LATITUDE: Treriksröset - 69°06’N DENSITY: 21.5/km2 | 55.6/sq mi MAJOR CITIES: Göteborg, Malmö, Uppsala


SUNRISE: 08:44

SUNSET: 14:48



SUNRISE: 03:31

SUNSET: 22:08



WEDEN HAS LONG SINCE BEEN the most populous country

to even the more capitalistic ventures such

in the Nordic region, as well as

Swedish design to the non-designer.

the most dominant presence

as Designtorget, which promotes high The group efforts of Sweden have led

politically and socially. Sweden emphasizes

to designs that put the user first, Tham &

collectivity in a non-groupthink way, putting

Videgård Arkitekter’s “The Hemnet House,”

focus on creativity to benefit society as a

which was designed based on the analysis

whole. The landscape is a mix of the rest of

of 200 million clicks and 86,000 properties

the Nordic countries and despite it’s large

searched on, a home buying site

population, there is plenty of space to go

in Sweden. Similarly seen across the other


Nordic countries, Swedes value light within

With fields to the south, the archipelago to the east, and the mountains on its western border, Sweden has plenty of diversity in nature to draw inspiration from. Design inspiration can be seen in everyday boutiques

their homes, owing the “Nordic white” to bring lightness in dark winters.

:FINLAND OFFICIAL NAME: Suomen Tasavalta CAPITAL: Helsinki POPULATION: 5.5 Million SOUTHERN LATITUDE: Kökar, Åland - 59°30’N NORTHERN LATITUDE: Njuorggán - 70°05’N DENSITY: 18/km2 | 46/sq mi MAJOR CITIES: Espoo, Tampere, Vantaa


SUNRISE: 09:24

SUNSET: 15:13



SUNRISE: 03:54

SUNSET: 22:50




practicality in the everyday object. This can

of varying landscapes, from the

be seen in the Aaltos’ and Tapio Wirkkala’s

archipelago in the southern and

glasswear, Marimekko’s prints and textiles,

western coasts to the lakes in

and Nokia’s former mobile empire.

central part of the country to the northern

Finnish lighting draws mainly from it’s

arctic landscape of fells and tunturit, which

northern climate, making use of electrical

are large hills located in the northern region

lighting in creative and aesthetic ways, while

of Lapland. The Finns and Fenno-Swedes

daylighting buildings through design choices

have a strong traditions of sailing, sauna,

such as slim building footprint, interior atrium

and design, which are all integrated into the

design, and the combination of multi-use

modern Finnish culture.

design in public infrastructure.

Finnish architectural design came into its own starting in the 1920s with Alvar Aalto and his wife Aino Aalto, Eliel Saarinen, and Viljo Revell. More so than architecture, Finland’s design influence was mostly

:NORWAY OFFICIAL NAME: Kongeriket Norge CAPITAL: Oslo POPULATION: 5.2 Million SOUTHERN LATITUDE: Pysen - 57°57’N NORTHERN LATITUDE: Rossøya - 80°49’N KINGDOM: Svalbard, Jan Mayen, Antarctica DENSITY: 15.5/km2 | 35/sq mi MAJOR CITIES: Bergen, Trondheim, Stavanger


SUNRISE: 09:18

SUNSET: 15:12



SUNRISE: 03:54

SUNSET: 22:44


Credit: Mira Høstaker



making its way into furniture design, town

fjords that make up its entire

design, as well as building design.

coastline bordering the North Sea. The Norwegian population

Many Norwegian towns and cities are situated along the coastline of Norway, with

predominantly lives in many of the valleys

predominant fishing industries. In more

scattered throughout the country, relying on

recent times, the oil industry has taken over

light in a much different way than its flatter

Norway, giving way to prosperous growth

Nordic neighbors.

to the relatively small country. There is a

Because of Norway’s geographic

renewed ambition to establish Norwegian

location and the topography of mountainous

design in the contemporary era, with industry

country, the orientation of towns are

leaders such as Snøhetta, Neue, and TYIN

essential to daylighting spaces where sun


may not reach at certain times of the year. Norway has always had a strong sense of traditional craft making and inspiration through vernacular architecture of the past,

:ICELAND OFFICIAL NAME: Ísland CAPITAL: Reykjavík POPULATION: 329,100 SOUTHERN LATITUDE: Garðar - 63°24’N NORTHERN LATITUDE: Grímsey - 66°33’N DENSITY: 3.2/km2 | 8.29/sq mi MAJOR CITIES: Kópavogur, Hafnarfjörður, Akureyri


SUNRISE: 11:23

SUNSET: 15:30



SUNRISE: 02:55

SUNSET: 0:04




the textile industry and artisan craft industry,

of fire and ice, lending its name mostly

such as furniture making, due to it’s previous

from the volcanic activity and the glaciers

import ban on furniture in the 1950s. This led

seen throughout the country. Iceland

to Icelanders really valuing their products.

gained independence from Denmark in 1944,

Icelandic architecture is predominantly

towards the end of World War II, however

vernacular to survive the Icelandic winters.

Iceland has been very independent since

The connection to nature is undeniably

the settlement of the island in around 1000

important to Icelanders, as much of the

A.D. Icelanders take pride in their language,

architecture situated around the country

nature, and northern lights, and all serve as

provides the connection directly from the

inspiration to their design.

front of the doorstep to just through a

ReykjavĂ­k is home to one-third of the Icelandic population and serves has a hub for the country, as well as a main connector between Europe and North America. Icelandic design has been at the forefront of

window from a building in the urban fabric. The influence is key to Icelandic design.






aperture openings within the building, the

parameters in the Nordic countries

mood of the building.

yield dramatic results during both the

play of brilliants with light, and the emphasis on electrical lighting enhance the decided The interplay between the brilliance

winter and summer. Daylighting design, in

of white snow outside with the warmth of

conjunction with electrical lighting design,

the light draw people in with a seductive

helps illuminate spaces with soft light during

nature. Dark and dynamic lighting strategies

most of the year, due in part to lower sun

are a nod back to vernacular architecture

angles seen far up north above the 55 degree

throughout the Nordic region. Before the

latitude marker. When designing with the

modern era, the lack of glass and keeping out

criteria of “dark and dynamic,” a mood for the

the cold were two factors for lack of windows.

building must first be established. This mood

This lack of windows required light through

can come from a concept idea, focal point

different means. There is an undeniable,

on certain spaces, or even programmatic

inherent want for dimly lit spaces during the


winter, lit with a glowing, soft light. These

The idea of dark and dynamic lighting strategies are particularly enhanced when darkness is at its peak during the winter months. Minimal amounts of sunlight lead the way for lighting designers to play within this category. The precise nature of light

dark spaces enhance the space’s aura.


a lighter quality in these buildings is the

at key locations throughout the

predominance of glassy atriums. These

Nordic capital centers and tend

atriums not only allow for more multi-

A key feature of this in allowing for

to highlight the program of the building in

function space and enclosed public space,

relation to multiple other large infrastructure

but they also Many people flock to these

projects in the same area. The buildings tend

buildings during the winter to escape

to be very bright inside, mainly consisting of

the cold, using them for means of inter-

light flooring, white walls, and comfortable,

building travel, or visit the café, library, or

design-friendly furniture. The predominant

other various types of programming that is

lighting design is done through daylighting


design rather than through electrical lighting. “Alphabet” buildings are extremely impactful for light and nodal qualities of light because their floor types allow for the use of central space and give importance to having light on all sides of the building, not just one. The use of double skin façades are used throughout the building to not only give way for energy efficiency, but also allow for more of a glassy façade, which helps bring more daylight into the surrounding area.



IGHT & NODAL ARE QUALITIES that are emphasized





throughout the Nordic countries use

to light and nodal, however it’s

skylights and large atriums with programming

the transparency at the street

at the bottom, similar to an outdoor market

Porous and transparent buildings

edge condition that differentiates Nordic

brought to the inside. Many of these public

street culture from the rest of Europe. The

buildings are situated around open park

transparency opens up the building year

spaces in the in the center core of the city,

round and provides inhabitable porosity

providing plenty of places to activate the

in the summer while giving sight lines and

street and the inside of the buildings.

directionality out to the street in the winter. The levels of porosity are changed through uses of materiality like channel glass, mullion systems, and atrium spaces. The types of programming applied within this category are usually retail storefronts, large shopping and public infrastructure, and transportation centers. Mixed programming dominates the use of these spaces, giving way to casual strolling throughout the winter in enclosed areas while opening up to the street in the summer.


candle, but also visual warmth through

are a common way to describe

These are the innate qualities of light that

different types of design

are deemed more on the sense of being

throughout Denmark that possess a certain quality of cosiness, although rather the word is somewhat untranslatable. Comfortable & Hyggelig are a special

the temperature of the light being emitted.

primordial, similar to the hut within a village. This commonality of this lighting quality is prevalent during the transitional times of the year, mainly during autumn, where the

type of building that exist mainly across

darkness becomes more and more part of

the Nordic countries through the notion of

the day than during the spring where it’s

having an undeniable homey quality of space.

noticeably less when it becomes additive

The space is made to feel inviting through

light. This quality of light is also during the

the use of warm light, plenty of wood, and

summer when the sunlight has a golden

large windows that filter in the daylight

quality to it during the late night hours

during the winter months. The use of diffused

between 10 PM through 6 AM due to the

light, which is primarily used throughout the

northern latitude.

Nordic countries, really brings the space alive in combination with candlelight and certain temperature lighting. Warmth is a big contributing factor in this category of lighting design. It can be physical warmth from a fireplace or







The characteristics of “alphabet

Nordic cities, with a driving factor being

buildings� are those that contain a thin

the need and want for light throughout the

building footprint while reminiscent of a

living space and the want for connection to

shape within the Latin alphabet. These

natural settings. These buildings also take

buildings allow for light on multiple sides,

their typology from times before electricity,

spaces that are in between the buildings

putting a focus on daylighting, as it was the

allowing for customization of the space

only source of light during the day besides

through landscape architecture or through

oils and candles.

the occupants themselves, and give a

The building footprints lend well to both

different urban character to neighborhoods,

the development of light-centric apartment

which are all subsequently shaped through

dwelling in the urban context as well as

buildings by the shape of the buildings

lighting daylighting opportunities for public


infrastructure buildings that are found as

These buildings are common throughout the denser neighborhoods of

nodes within city centers across the capitals.


Seen within the built environment across the city, the alphabet buildings take shape and congregate with those around, however the shape is only known to the user from either an experiential standpoint from within courtyards or from an aerial view. As seen from this view, Stockholm’s street wall is held from the sidewalk, but on the inside there is much variation in building form and courtyard shape.



The IT University of Copenhagen has a fantastic new building that creates habitable spaces on all floors that intersect the atrium, allowing for the use of daylighting throughout the meeting rooms and offices, while still allowing for light from two sides through the thin building forms that create the perimeter buildings.

A typology seen throughout the Nordic

opportunities for way finding and transitional

countries is the use of a glazed and enclosed

spaces that can protrude into the space

atrium space through a larger public

above the ground level of the atrium without

infrastructure project. The atrium space is

completely blocking the daylight.

typically daylit through the use of skylights

Atrium spaces allow for the

or glazed roofs, allowing light to filter down

development of structural systems through

into the space and reduce on the amount

various materials through their need to span,

of electrical lighting. Atrium spaces also

but also allow for the development of glazing

provide habitable space for the user on the

systems that can be unique to the project.

ground floor of the atrium, while also opening

These glazing systems are indispensable to

up three more sides of the building above

the daylighting of the project and the space

ground level.

below. The range of atrium spaces are more

Many of these atrium spaces have

applicable to low-rise cities because the

interstitial space that provides the circulation

height of the buildings allow the light to get

and gathering points for the users, creating

all the way to the ground level.

29 One of the multiple atriums in the University of Helsinki library and the most important one in the building, this atrium allows for light to penetrate the deep building footprint.


Building across the Nordic countries use the low-rise nature of their cities to their


advantage. As buildings are traditionally

upon the overall energy efficiency of a space (Daylight & Productivity paper). Biophilic design is proven to improve the

lower than the church towers across the

overall emotional quality the user has within

cities, buildings across these cities use a thin

the space. Through the combination of these

building footprint on their light to access light

two things within the thin footprint typology,

from two sides. This is extremely important

the enhancement of a space benefits the

for getting ample daylighting through the

user in a positive way, and improves upon

space within the urban fabric because there

the quality of architecture that the user

is little to no chance for building a high-rise

experiences. With the thin building footprint,

within the older areas of the Nordic capitals.

the atrium typology is replicated throughout

Without being able to access light on four

the courtyard as an open-air atrium. The

sides as what a high-rise has the option

three typologies intersect overlap each other

to do, the buildings throughout the city

and are seen throughout the larger Nordic

create courtyards within the middle of their

cities as a driving factor in space generation

buildings and use skylight systems so that

for both the built environment and the user

lighting is assured throughout the occupied

within the building.

space. The courtyards included within these thin building footprints gain access to another architectural realm – biophilic design. In combination with daylighting, these public buildings provide access to nature that many across the Nordic countries find in the countryside just outside of their cities. The correct amount of daylight within a space is proven to increase productivity, reduce lighting electrical loads, and improve

The buildings in this neighborhood use aggregate buildings to gain light from each side while keeping a thin building footprint with thoughtful building massings in Kallio, Helsinki, Finland.


The building massings in Copenhagen, Denmark, are a bit thinner, which give one apartment two walls of light, as well as a larger courtyard in the middle, which sometimes includes public/ private space




:Christopher Morris

“...The public almost certainly finds

:Birgitte Bundesen Svarre “Informality, good atmosphere,

ways to interact outside within the

bringing your living atmosphere to

public spaces no matter what time of

design. It’s about people bringing people

the year.”

together. It’s a multi-layer word, it’s very much embedded.”


:Joonas Saaranen :Arto Heiskanen

“You realize that it’s actually

:Dr. Thomas Schielke

“I think that the big question is

somewhat uncanny, especially the lack

about maybe the reinterpretation of

of light in the winter and the massive

the fireplace, because it’s from the

amount of light you get in the summer.

Nordic idea of this warm light. When

I think that has some kind of profound

you scale this down to the winter time,

effect on design. Of course you want to

it’s not about brightness but rather

use the daylight, but then you know that


you have to have a lot of light during the winter through other means.”


Birgitte Bundesen Svarre


Associate, Gehl Studio - Copenhagen, Denmark

Ph.D., Architecture MA, Modern Culture

Birgitte is responsible for book publications and is a key researcher within Gehl. She takes a culturally analytical approach to the physical environment and specializes in urban spaces in suburban contexts. Birgitte is also the coordinator of internal ongoing education, is actively involved in master classes and workshops and is the co-author of the latest Jan Gehl / Gehl book, entitled “How to Study Public Life”. She is also an Associate Professor at Denmark’s Technical University and a guest lecturer at various universities.

CM: Let’s start by defining lighting design within the urban fabric: how important would you say that lighting design is within the realm of user interaction within a public space or a public building? BS: There are a lot of elements that determine whether it is a good or bad space, but I think it’s really key and crucial – if you have bad lighting it could make an entire difference, and the same if you have good lighting. I think, in terms of atmosphere and the perception of space, it can play a crucial role. I’m just thinking of this example in Copenhagen of Blågårds Plads, a square in a neighborhood where they designed with lighting, and sometimes there’s a tendency to see lighting as a function. We put up enough light and when we have light, that means safety when we talk about public spaces at least, but it does means a lot when it is good lighting, indirect and when it gives a good atmosphere. In the space it didn’t give the right atmosphere, so it actually counteracted. It wasn’t really felt like a safe place to be. They changed the lighting, or adjusted it after the first take which was just functional lighting, however there was too much. It’s also due to context and the


perception of locals. The light in Scandinavia is different than other places, of course.

Blågårds Plads

CM: Within the Nordic countries, the comfort of the space seems to affect the user in a positive way in public infrastructure and whether or not both are interacting. For example with the lighting in Blågårds Plads where the lighting was made more for safety, however one example I like to go back to is Kvarterhuset on Amager in Copenhagen, it seems like that space is popular amongst the locals. Within that space when I have visited, there are so many people using the spaces, particularly the café and the outdoor courtyard. The space itself is light and ethereal, which draws those to use the space’s functions. In terms of that example, how would you define comfort within a space speaking from a Danish point of view? BS: I happen to be a specialist in the outdoor spaces mainly, however both relate to each other so I can expand on it. I would say that it’s a good example, it’s from my old neighborhood actually and I know it well. Absolutely, it’s a very welcoming space, a good scale and so on and the same goes for the outside. The ground level particularly has these large windows where you’re able to see activities or even traces of activities. The additional glass square means a lot in terms of lighting. It means you have different kinds of lighting and spaces, relating really well to each other. The outdoor space


particularly in front of the café is really great in terms of micro-climate. I think it’s about two, three or four degrees warmer than around the corner and towards the café on

Kvarterhuset on Jemtelandsgade

jemtelandsgade. Also, the connection where you have a mix of function, where you have different functions at different times of days, housing, and a mix of where you have somebody there all the time at different times of the day, and it’s not as if you have thousands of people – it just feels safe and good to be there. CM: It seems that the more people there, the safer you feel, particularly within a smaller space. BS: Also because you have the indirect and that’s also a little bit, the interior. It’s not necessarily people are there, but maybe around the corner. Even on Jemtelandsgade you see the lighting in the windows of the apartments, so you feel safe and it’s the indirect that contributes to that. CM: Speaking from an outdoor space expertise, do you feel that there are any trends in lighting design in Denmark, particularly with the new public squares around Copenhagen that are being redesigned as they put in transportation infrastructure?

systems and new types of lighting – more intelligent lighting. It’s sort of in a transition phase where you replace old types of lighting with more sustainable types of lighting. At this point in time, it hasn’t really reached the development needed. It’s my impression, that the designers really work on creating the atmosphere and creating the softer sides of lighting. It’s not really the function but also the type of lighting – the diversity of light in different situations and that you can combine different types of lighting. In terms of that, there is something really interesting happening and with different types of lighting being tested and integrated into the urban fabric. For instance, you have smaller lights along the path from below when you’re on your back. This diversity, but also diversity coming up, being developed is strong here in Denmark. CM: Do you feel that within Denmark, that a lot of the lighting that is designed is more for the winter months when the darkness is prevalent and obvious, especially when it comes to getting people to the outdoors. The winters in Denmark aren’t as harsh as the winters in Finland, but it seems that people still want to be able to use the public spaces and outdoor areas within Copenhagen. Do you think that lighting design is more geared towards winter than summer because of the darkness? BS: I think it’s actually more year round, but of course the light means a lot in


BS: General trends, I would say that there is of course the upgrading to newer

the interior and exterior, but it’s the importance of light – the architecture is really born around the light. But of course, it isn’t as dark as it is in Finland, but there’s also a sensitivity that spaces shouldn’t be too light. There’s a debate right now that we should really be careful that there isn’t too much light, that there is a user-sensitive type of lighting. The new light plan for Copenhagen shows that it’s really more about daylighting with the sun. Some may say that it’s almost a bit too dark in terms of light availability. There’s an urge for light, but the right kind of light – more natural light, even in the winter time. I would also say that the people within planning and architecture for public spaces, there is more attention towards “the winter city.” Light, in that intention, plays a key role in projects – how do you use light to create a good atmosphere, to make it feel warmer, and so on. The winter city is something that we will see more, but I think it’s also a maturing of more public life, a much more varied palette of things happening, more activities, and also more diversity in the typologies of public spaces, streetscapes, and so on that we have been seeing. I think that this trend will continue and add more diversity. CM: It seems that Copenhagen itself is at the forefront of diversification in the


way that these new public spaces are implemented. Do you think that it will continue on this path and sustain itself or do you think that the new typologies will be tested,

Example of The Winter City

and the ones that do work will continue, and the ones that work but not as well will be left behind? BS: Yeah, I think that’s the way it is and now you have more possibilities and flexibility for solutions where lighting is more user-oriented. Lights can go off and on when people are there for instance, more user control, there will be a selection, a series of tests, and we will figure out whether it will work or not. CM: As a designer, there is a buzz word that has been thrown around to me in the past, which is Hyggelig in Danish. Can you, as a Dane, define that for me? There seems to be no direct translation into English, but I’d like to know from any design sense on


how this word plays a role within Danish design.

Cykelslangen pathway lighting

BS: It’s very interesting. There is an interesting Ph.D. dissertation from University of California – Berkeley, which is on the use of hygge. It looked through interior design magazines to see what hygge is, but also through an anthropological approach through interviews. The author actually interviewed people and made them point out the most “hyggelig” spots within their homes. I think hyggelig is certainly key in order to understand the design here. Hyggelig is more of an atmospheric quality, or

even a state of mind – it’s informal, I think that you can also see within the lighting is that the ideal is somewhat towards the hyggelig, but also the more functional side of lighting as well. In general, within the urban landscape, it would be towards that hyggelig sense. Informality, good atmosphere, bringing your living atmosphere to design. It’s about people bringing people together. It’s a multi-layer word, it’s very much embedded. A symbol of hygge is certainly the candlelight that you have during the winter time. That has been challenged a little bit in response to the effects on health and the environment, so that could be challenged more in the coming years, but still it’s certainly a sign of hygge in the winter time. CM: That definitely leads into the cultural aspect of lighting design and public infrastructure. Of course culture comes into play with users engaging in public infrastructure and the user group that the infrastructure is actually serving. I know that across the Nordic countries that there is a festival of lights during the winter, do you think that because the light is so precious in the winter yet abundant in the summer time, that the public almost certainly finds ways to interact outside within the public spaces no matter what time of the year. For instance, in Helsinki there is


the LUX Helsinki festival during January every year, however this year it happened to be -30 degrees Celsius, but I was so surprised because there were so many people outside experiencing this festival that you could barely walk on the street. Do you feel that the culture in the Nordic countries embraces the winter months more so and how do you think that lighting design, particularly through a festival atmosphere, can help encourage the public engagement? BS: Well I think that we have seen over the years that the seasons have expanded their time frame, which you can see over the years in the Public Space, Public Life cases studies that Gehl Studio has done. Now, since the season is much longer, the people will find ways to sit outside with a blanket, and you know, of course the cafés might provide it, so they can also have a hot drink. There is something with the outside culture and different things, but I think you’re also right that there are lots of festivals and initiatives happening, and everything points towards expanding this season even more so that it is all year round. You have several Christmas markets or winter events coming up. I have also been involved in a jury for a competition on the winter city, what can we do in order to bring people outside, so there is really a lot of push towards that, whether it’s retail, people, or different stakeholders. The answer is yes, of course the lighting design can and will play a role, an important role, in order to make it possible. However, I think the big thing in the winter time or the coldest season is the wind that comes into

play. That’s the huge chill factor, so now it’s also to work smarter with micro climate, but there hasn’t been too much work done with that. I think that it will play a more prominent role and you will have different angle towards creating a better climate with lighting, with the cleverer way of organizing the building mass, so that you can also get a good micro climate. You can actually push up temperatures that way without really doing it artificially. Also, materiality is a big factor. Which materials can absorb heat and things like that. CM: It seems that it’s a combination of every aspect of design within architecture, from the building massing to the incorporation of lighting, to even the decision of the type of programming within the space. You have really spoken to how Denmark incorporates design in all facets and particularly with the way that lighting can influence the importance of the design of other things such as massing and indoor/ outdoor transparency. I really appreciate the insight that you have given to this matter in the design of spaces in Denmark.


Estonian Christmas Market in Tallinn

:CONVERSATIONS Joonas Saaranen Arto Heiskanen


Joonas Saaranen Whitenight Lighting OY - Tampere, Finland

MSc, Lighting Design BA, Industrial Design

BA, Media - Lighting Design

Arto Heiskanen Whitenight Lighting OY - Tampere, Finland Joonas and Arto both draw inspiration from the nature around them and pull it into their design philosophy at Whitenight Lighting OY. Their design process looks at the drastic nature of Finnish light and seeks to design lighting for year round application around the urban environment. The variation of light throughout Finland is a continual influence at their firm.

CM: I’m curious about your design process at first in terms of the way that you both approach a project at first, especially as a lighting designer. Could you please give us some insight to your process? JS: I think, at least what we have at the moment, taking from the Nordic countries is more of how the sun comes up and down. We have a presentation that tries to get people to understand more about the impact of the sun in the Nordic countries. We have shown how many hours we have in a year, and within Finland how many of those hours are dark versus light. Particularly, the darkness is the most prevalent during the winter time and the contributes to the most hours of darkness during the year. We try to get them to understand the inspiration that we take from nature, and that’s why our firm doesn’t show off our projects, but rather shows the nature and inspiration of Finland that we both draw from. The nature is really playing a strong role in the design. You can see this in one of our projects, the swimming stadium (Ahveniston maauimala.) We were there checking out how the sun goes, can we see it, and is there a possibility to do daylight design. There definitely was and we decided to focus on


something that was already given to us in nature rather than artificially create it.

Ahveniston Maauimala

CM: You spoke about drawing from nature, but how would you say that being Finnish plays a key role into your identity as a designer, particularly in your home country?

JS: I’d say that the daylight is so extreme here; you think of Finnish summer and Finnish winter. When you really start to think about it, then you realize that it’s actually somewhat uncanny, especially the lack of light in the winter and the massive amount of light you get in the summer. I think that has some kind of profound effect on design. Of course you want to use the daylight, but then you know that you have to have a lot of light during the winter through other means. CM: Do you feel that this lighting

Forest in a late winter afternoon - Time: 16.35

change is more evident when you have


subtractive light versus additive light? For example, going from the dead of winter and adding the light gradually until you reach the summer or vice versa where you have so much light in the summer and then you start to take it away little by little. JS: I would say going from the winter into the spring, when the light starts to come back, people start to realize it more. AH: Well, you do realize when it starts to get really dark as well. When it’s September and it starts to get dark. People realize, “oh, we need some light here!” but then you realize that all of the sudden there isn’t sunlight any more at four or five in the afternoon. CM: For me, I thought that they way you experience light would be vastly different whether you were adding it to the day or subtracting it from the day. JS: I remember when I was studying up in Lapland, I had a minor in photography, and I’d be in the darkroom processing the photos and printing. I remember during the morning I’d go to school in the dark, during the dark I was in the darkroom, and then in evening going home it was dark again. It was quite a long winter that winter for me. However, it did change to the opposite for me again when I was working on my thesis. I

would be making molds and working on my industrial design processes, but I remember starting at eight in the evening and all of the sudden it was four in the morning and still daylight. I don’t think some Finns really know how drastic the lighting change is up in Lapland. CM: Would you say that during the winter that Nordic design draws from the whiteness that is all around through the snow? JS: That is also another factor in itself. When the winter does come and you have snow everything, you realize that it isn’t as dark anymore. The snow really helps brighten the winters when the sunlight is so minimal. CM: Speaking now more towards creating a comfortable space through lighting in particular, how would you say that a good approach would be to defining the space for the user, creating a comfortable atmosphere, and really influencing the user through light? If you’re familiar with Richard Kelley’s three defining factors of lighting design, could you maybe explain how these factors influence and draw users to the

JS: I’m thinking at this moment more residential spaces, but as a whole I would say that having different types of lighting for the different uses of the space, or similarly creating lighting based on the tasks being done within the space. For instance, having more flat light for working and having more of an ambient glow for resting areas or gathering spaces. The tricky part is trying to understand, “okay, maybe you don’t want to have these dentist lights in your bedroom” or “hey, these LED lights are really nice, but you get this light that seems like you’re in gloomy weather all the time.” Particularly on the client side of things, you really have to show through example the way that the lighting is. Do you really want this flat light here? It makes all the difference in the way the people interact with the lights and the overall feeling that they have in them. That may be the trickiest part of lighting. CM: You suggest the importance of light for each season, but how can all of this design accommodate for the lighting of a successful space that is used year round? AH: I think that the center of Tampere is a good example of this where they started changing the lights gradually about ten years ago to a metal halide light. The luminaire can make all the different in the way the space feels. It was quite white, but it didn’t


space, and how would you use lighting design as a way to bring comfort into a space?

really fit the space. I think that most of Tampere wants to get away from these sodium halide lights, they have tried LED, and even more kinds of luminaires, but it’s a gradual process where they have to try for a while and then realize, “oh, this might not work so well.” After that realization, they then move on to a new type of luminaire. At least in the center of the city, they try to use only a few different luminaire models so that there is a



Tampere’s lighting system at night

Credit: C2 SmartLight

CM: During the summer time, you can almost focus less on the qualities of light and more on the design, but if you were to only design lighting for the winter time, what kind of qualities of light would you both like to see in public spaces during this season? AH: It really depends on the space itself. What does the space need, what should the space look like? After that, we, of course, find the tools in order to make the feeling of the space. There is the safety factor always, and you want to have enough light to see and walk in the space. Here it is the norm that there is too much focus on getting the measurements of light. For example, we need to have 500 lux regardless of whether the floor is white or black. It’s a totally different feeling of the space whether it’s gray, black

or white. This greatly affects the comfort of the space because the norm is only reliant on the measurement and not so much the feeling or atmosphere of the space. JS: For example, a playground for children needs a different feeling than that of a soccer field or swimming hall. There is a children’s playground project in Tampere, where the designers have already started experimenting with the types of lighting around the playground. Of course, there always needs to be a place where we need to guide people through the space, and those should always be well-lit spaces, but there are spaces where the space is dependent on the light and the light is dependent on the space. AH: The trend in the retail environment in Finland at the moment is to have a lot of light, so much that the store is over-lit by massive amounts of light. The Prisma supermarkets here in Finland are having 2000 lux easily, which is just too much light for this space. There was another case last year, a first case of ours, where the task space was getting 2000-3000 lux in the work space. The designer never accounted for the height of the space at two different points, and lit the space just for the highest point. They lit according to the standards, but this example is starting to be the case more and

JS: I think people are just starting to understand that you have this light, but what are the qualities of light – is it flat light, is it white light, is it warm light? That’s something that is being understood more at a personal level for people. CM: With user engagement in lighting design, are there strategies that can bring lighting to the user’s perspective of experiencing the space? JS: We have this one project in the pedestrian street here in Tampere. We were doing the lighting design with projectors. We were using these projectors from the tops of the buildings, but it gave us the chance to change the feeling of the street. The projection was a series of different snowflakes, and the story behind that was that we worked with a local daycare where the children created all the snowflakes, about 150 of them, and then we digitized all of them and projected this. This lighting is part of a festival, but the snowflakes lit the path for users to take through this pedestrian street. But this is a great example of using designs from the public and not having full control over all of the design. The engagement came through how the kids could go outside with their parents during this festival and find the



Make-A-Flake Permanent Light Art Festival Installation

snowflake that they created. After that, they could go shopping or have a coffee, but it


included the shops there also getting something in return. In Tampere we have a week festival of lighting design that started in 1966, Valoviikko, but this design was part of that festival. However, the road that this festival is on recently had their luminaires switched to a whiter light. There has been discussion that you don’t have this warm glow on the street and that it has changed the atmosphere a bit. It’s been quite interesting to see the discussion happening. CM: That’s a great segue into the overall comfort of the space. If people are feeling that the atmosphere is changing, are they saying, “well it isn’t the same as it used to be.” Do you think that they are still visiting even though the feeling has changed? AH: Also, there is a factor when people don’t see the luminaire itself. It reads a bit darker to people because they can’t figure out where the light is actually coming from. There are even sometimes fake luminaires that allow people to see, “okay, well maybe the light is coming from there.” When we use the projections on the wall, you can’t see where the light is actually coming from, so we added some luminaires that light up, but don’t add much, and this is just to give comfort to the user in terms of the unsettling feeling they may feel when they don’t see the fixture.



Dr. Thomas Schielke


Editor for didactic communication & Marketing ERCO - Lüdenscheid, Germany

Ph.D., Architectural Lighting MA, Architecture

Dr. Thomas Schielke studied architecture at the University of Technology in Darmstadt, Germany. During the course of his studies he worked as a research assistant at the department for Building Design and Lighting Technology. His doctoral thesis analyzed architectural lighting for brand communication. He is author of the book “Light Perspectives - between culture and technology” and contributes a regular column “Light Matters” on ArchDaily, which reveals various perspectives of architectural lighting.

CM: Nordic countries are pretty specific in terms of lighting conditions because in a sense, nature seemingly plays and integral role in design, even within the urban cities here. For instance, other Nordic people, whom I have interviewed or are my peers, prefer a sense of comfort over everything else. I think that’s part of the reason why the Nordic capitals have stayed low-rise cities, people live and work within the same neighborhoods, and the cities are much smaller, which also gives a quality of more comfort. How do you feel the daylighting and lighting design is able to influence the comfort for the user in a space? TS: Thinking about this comfort, you have so much nature around and the scale is completely different – you have no skyscrapers, no media façades, because it doesn’t really fit to the scale. I think that the media façades are an expression of individuality, but it isn’t a major topic for Nordic countries. The immediate topics would be more about nature and the human scale. I think that the big question is about maybe the reinterpretation of the fireplace, because it’s from the Nordic idea of this warm light. When you scale this down to the winter time, it’s not about brightness but rather atmosphere. It goes toward a different direction from the more analytical approach of creating standards for amounts of light needed. It’s really about private zones and the

Confederation of Danish Industry LED façade


size and height of the luminaries in the space.

CM: Referencing Richard Kelly, the three qualities of light defined in his piece seem to work well during the winter and during the seasons where comfort is heavily emphasized. Do you feel that the direction lighting design is going toward is more for designing around the darker times of the year, particularly with electrical luminaires and lighting strategies? TS: I think it’s pretty obvious that during the summer time, you don’t need much electrical light at all. I’m sure, even as a feeling, that it must be pretty nice to go out and


not need the electrical lighting very much. It’s more about experiencing the nature as

Summer in Kuusamo, Finland - Time: 00.30

Winter Day in Helsinki, Finland - Time: 13.00

a whole during that time of the year. However, it doesn’t mean that you can eliminate electrical lighting all together during the summer. You would still need it for the hours of the day which aren’t fully daylight. I think you don’t have to do anything about the daylight because it’s just there, and thinking about the electrical lighting, you almost hardly use any electrical light in the summer time. However, you could still use Richard Kelly’s way of thinking for daylighting. You have play of brilliants through the directed sunlight, that if you’re close to the water, you see the reflected sunlight sparkle and you have the dynamic waves there – I think this is the play of brilliants in the Nordic countries during the summer time, but it’s of course very bright. Focal glow isn’t the typical summer because it’s just sun, however you would have the ambient luminescence. Maybe it’s just the blue sky or the cloudy sky. However, the summer time is more about ambient luminescence for me because the summer is pretty long in terms of the daylight hours.

TS: Well, during the winter it will be mainly interior through electrical lighting. You would skip ambient luminescence because it is too artificial; it’s so dark outside that you don’t want to create an artificial Mediterranean feeling on the inside. Focal glow, private intimate zones, and a bit of play of brilliants are the main focuses for lighting. At most, the ambient luminescence would be for the circulation areas and spaces that need more of a strict measurement of light. CM: Since we are talking about lighting from a seasonal approach, when would you say that the change in seasons is the most evident in the way the user views lighting within a space? For example, would you say that it’s more evident when you add light to the day or more evident when you subtract the light? For daylight design, do you think, as a lighting designer, that there is an ability to harness this feeling of the user and design to either bring attention to the lighting design or draw away from the changes that are experienced already? TS: That’s a good question in terms of increasing their awareness to this change in lighting. It could also be a positive quality that you aren’t drawing attention to the transition in light for the user of the space. If you would see too many transitions, it


CM: How would you apply Kelly’s qualities of light during the winter time?

might make you nervous. Naturally, the change in light is a gradual change through the months, and that’s the nice quality of the sun. The transition has two layers, of course. The seasons and the day and night. These transitions aren’t boring but rather entertaining because over a couple of months, you have an additional transition because of the length of time. CM: For me, I feel that there is a feeling of gloom when you start to take away the light. The darkness becomes more evident, however when adding light, it’s the same – the lightness because more evident. TS: I think that the large contrast in architecture is the interior of the buildings. The lighting is at a constant. The circulation areas are always lit, there is a continual stasis within the space. Over the year, there are no changes within the inside, so this light appears more boring and less dramatic. Within our buildings we only see on and off, but no smooth transition of light like during the day. Daylighting is crucial in discussing this because it not only benefits the experience of the space but also benefits the user


through positive effects on health. The lighting is more geared towards nature. CM: Natural lighting is more geared towards the user. If we are able to connect with the outside, then we become more comfortable within the space because we see what is happening. TS: When we can see the reason for the changes, even with the clouds and the sun, then we understand the situation. I think that if we were to have similar for the interior space, we don’t know what the reason is. If we had a large fixture there, which maybe was moving or going on and off, then we can see the effect and understand how it is happening. Through this reasoning by the user, lighting design becomes more evident in the space, and it’s these strategies and qualities that help with it.

57 **These excerpts were part of a larger conversation on lighting design, where each designer contributed a plethora of knowledge in the field of design focused on built environment


:GLYPTOTEKET Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Architect: Henning Larsen Architects Year Built: 1996-2000


A combination of skylights and electrical lights, along with shiny materials, enhance the contrast between the galleries housed in the middle and the circulation space pictured to the left.

The Glyptoteket is a state museum

between the older building and the new

located in Copenhagen, Denmark and houses

addition. Through the space, the user

its large collection of statues and artifacts

eventually comes to multiple gallery spaces

from around the world. The lighting system

on the inside that are purely electrically lit,

throughout the museum is very selective

giving full control to the museum itself.

and daylit in certain galleries -- those objects

The lighting throughout the Glyptoteket

that could be daylit without set illiminance

is dispersed through the use of frosted glass

can be housed in spaces with diffused light.

so that the light distribution is even among

Thus, the spaces in the Glyptoteket cater

the pieces of art housed in the museum. The

to the objects that they house, and the new

addition creates contrast between brightly

addition by Henning Larsen creates a journey

lit spaces and dimly lit spaces, creating

through the space by means of circulation

particular lighting evident to the user.

and programming. The massive main staircase up gradually circulates the user through a space daylit

61 One of the main rooms in the Glyptoteket houses many statues from the Greek, Roman, and Egyptian dominated eras. The space is daylit through the skylight above in the shape of an arch, giving an even dispersion to the artifacts housed below.



The contrasting lighting design between the two spaces pictured show the light quality that differs based on the different needs within the programming - in this case it is a daylit circulation space, which has a blue quality of light, compared to the gallery space on the right, which requires different lighting based off the type of work displayed.

63 The light and well lit circulation space of the Glyptoteket is one of the first things upon entering the space and buying an entry ticket. This space provides a mixing chamber for those meeting their friends, putting up their coats, and storing their belongings. The quintessential Nordic “white wash� opens up the space and makes it feel larger and higher than it actually is. Glass guardrails and white lighting enhance the overall light quality of the space and guide the user through the circulation and to the main part of the museum.

:CINEMATEKET Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Architect: 3XN Architects Year Built: 1997


From the outside of Cinemateket, the glass blocks embedded in the sidewalk are visible and highlight the window between the columns, giving visual interest along the street. The first floor, which houses the film collection and archives, is well illuminated and acts as a practical layer above the subtle inside of the ground floor.

Cinemateket is located in the Indre By

the space through the use of dropped

neighborhood of Copenhagen, Denmark.

metal ceilings, spotlighting, and various

The building itself houses Den Dansk

reflective screens attached to column points

Filminstitut, or the Danish Film Institute,

throughout the space.

which programmatically includes three

In the basement level, uplighting

cinemas showing various Danish films, a

enhances the street presence on the outside

café, bookshop, library, film archive, and an

by lighting up through glass block embedded

adjoining restaurant. Cinemateket’s ground

in the sidewalk. This lighting practice gives

floor houses the more public programming,

definition to the outside of the building

which serves as a threshold between the

during the dark times of the year, which

various cinemas, as well as the restaurant,

providing a glow that draws your attention in

café, and bookshop.

and makes the user want to visit and explore

The lighting design in Cinemateket conceptually takes the idea of the movie production set and incorporates it into


65 On the ground floor, Cinemateket looks as if it were designed similarly to a film set, in which the lighting serves various functions to give different moods to the scene being filmed. The uplighting along each column is highlighted by a curved screen, which is coated with a bright finish in order to provide nice illumination in the space while adding a play of brilliants as well as a guiding lighting in the space. The black ceiling is a drop ceiling made of perforated metal square, behind which are spotlights that shine down and provide the light necessary to light the space for people to see. The predominant black metal is very subtle and combines with the black walls to allow focus on just the lights and the fixtures within the space, adding to the concept.



In the basement of the Cinemateket, interactive exhibits are housed around the main cinema space within the middle of the building. Lighting is selectively used around the perimeter and in the space above to give maximum control to the exhibit designers.

67 The Cinemateket is a great example of how uplighting through glass blocks can enhance the streetlight around the perimeter of the building. This can be seen from the outside in the photo on page 40. The alcoves that surround the perimeter of the basement provide a space for the Cinemateket to set up work stations, and is a prime location because of the indirect electrical lighting provided. The basement space is a dark and cozy spot to interact with other in the exhibit, as well as take advantage of the facilities provided by the Cinemateket, such as the archives and rooms for private screenings.

:KVARTERHUSET Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Architect: Dorte Mandrup Year Built: 2001


The structural system of Kvarterhuset has been pulled to the outside in order to open up the inside of the entry space to create a triple height space and allow for light to penetrate over and down through the space. The large windows at the ground level are habitable and create an engaging front entrance that is different from the upper floors of Kvarterhuset.

Kvarterhuset Amagerbro is a

The addition in the back is a gathering space,

neighborhood center located on the island

which is fully glazed with shelving pulled off

of Amager in Copenhagen, Denmark.

the wall in fixed within the structure of the

The building, originally constructed in

glazing system.

the 1880s, is an adaptive reuse project

This gathering space glows in the

which incorporates a library, cafĂŠ, offices,

evening and dark times of the year while

and gathering space for the surrounding

brightening up the inside during the sunny


times of the year, giving the users of the

Kvarterhuset is continually busy

library a unique space to inhabit and relax in.

throughout the year and has been designed

The programming of Kvarterhuset allows for

to be a welcoming space through opening

flexibility of the uses the library would like to

up the interior entrance point, bringing the

employ, as well as provide enough rigidity to

structure to the outside, and allowing light

define certain public spaces on ground level.

of three floors to filter in and illuminate the cafĂŠ space, as well as the checkout point.

69 The new addition by Dorte Mandrup is a glass box, which glows at night, and serves as a multi-purpose meeting room for the users of the Kvarterhuset. The glass mullion system ties back into the shelving system that lines the glass walls of the box, while underneath the box has various functions from car parking to an area to hang out or for kids to play.



The light, airy atrium space is the main focal point of the entry at Kvarterhuset. The light quality and materiality of the space welcome the user and encourage congregation and work within the space, partially due to the light that fills the space. Intimate spaces also play a key roll here and allow the user to move freely and along the windows.

71 The intimate space shown above is part of the café space in Kvarterhuset. Outside, the architecture has been able to create a micro-climate, which is a few degrees warmer than elsewhere in the neighborhood. After entering the café, the alcoves contains various types of seating which accommodate having lunch or just working on a computer. The space is highlighted by the amount of daylight that pours in, as well as contrasted by the slightly less daylit space in the café. Many users of Kvarterhuset flock to these floor to ceiling windows and work alongside each other, encouraging social interaction and positive working habits along others in the community.

:ROYAL DANISH PLAYHOUSE Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Architect: Lundgaard & Tranberg Year Built: 2008


The Royal Danish Playhouse design is linear along the Copenhagen Harbor that separates Indre By from Amager island. The building’s main front is entirely glass and opens out to the water, reflecting the city from the outside while giving users a full view of it from the inside. The situation of the glass façade is toward the east, giving direct morning light when the building isn’t being used, while still providing an overall ambient quality of daylight towards the afternoon and evening.

At the sea right off of Nyhavn, one of the oldest areas of Copenhagen, is the Royal Danish Playhouse, which is home to three

large glazing system that dominates the building’s skin. The café lights, which are very sleek

stages, a café, and a surrounding deck right

in design and visually minimal during

on the water. These three programmatic

the day, create a sea of little lights that

elements incorporate the idea that the user

draw similarities to stars in the night sky.

doesn’t necessarily have to come to the

Around the building and along the deck is

space for one function, but rather come for a

strip lighting that highlights the building’s

variety of functions that the space may have

footprint in the space and the boundary

when adding on to the typical main function

of the space while guiding users around

of the building.

the building. The upper floor, housing the

The space of the playhouse on the

administrative offices, is fully lit during the

inside is daylit from the east, as well as

night and gives the sense of a floating plane

various skylights, giving light in the morning

in the night sky.

hours and throughout the day due to the

73 The lighting design through the Danish Royal Playhouse is successful in terms of directing the user throughout the space. A sharp, continuous line of light highlight the end of the pier around the playhouse while the can lights above the cantilever create a path for users to follow underneath. The lobby space is the play of brilliants in the space. The lights hanging down, encased in all black, float through the space like stars in the night sky. The overall feeling of the space is comfortable for the user. The lobby is the utmost definition of hyggelig within a large, public building.



The lighting at the Royal Danish Playhouse helps guide the user along the outside deck space, where users gather in the sunny days and enjoy the outdoors, however at night it is transformed with bright perimeter lighting to not only highlight the edge, but also guide the user to the main space.

75 The space within the main café and waiting area is superbly lit by inconspicuous hanging LED lights, which glow like a starlit sky during the night. The transparency provided by the floor-to-ceiling glass façade blurs the indoor-outdoor transition within the space, particularly in the warmer seasons when areas of the façade are opened up and the transition between the two is seamless. The atmosphere that these lights create is a defining aspect of the space. The concept of hygge plays an important roll in this space, especially when the space is filled with dining guests of the playhouse. The amount of comfort is immense and can be felt throughout with warm, directional lighting across the entire area.

:DANISH JEWISH MUSEUM Location: Copenhagen, Denmark Architect: Studio Libeskind Year Built: 2003


The walls of the Danish Jewish Museum incorporate strips of light that fill the space and aid in the entire feel of the space. The space itself uses undulation in the floors and walls to suggest the feeling of being on a boat - similar to the experience felt by the Jewish population while escaping Denmark to Sweden during World War II.

The Danish Jewish Museum is a

irregularity of planes within the space.

museum that is located within the Danish

Uplighting highlights the Old Gallery’s arches,

Royal Library’s old Gallery House. The

which the strips of light seemingly disappear

museum itself has relatively no connection to

into the ground or into these arches.

daylight, but rather illuminates the sequence

The sequential hallways serves a

of gallery space through strips of light that

purpose for the design of the museum --

bolt through the interior walls. The walls

upon winding through the space, the Hebrew

undulate throughout the space and create

word “Mitzvah” is spelled, meaning good

a sense of being on a boat, similar to the

deed. This lighting can be seen as a parallel

evacuation of the many Jews from Denmark

to the sequence of space Libeskind designed,

to Sweden before the fall of the country to

and also guides the user through the space

Hitler during World War II.

with ease.

The lighting design in the space highlights the gallery spaces, which are built into the wall, while also emphasizing

77 The old arches of the Danish Royal Library meet the walls and gallery spaces created by Libeskind seamlessly. Select spotlighting, as well as the strips of light within the walls throughout the entire museum, highlight the arches above and the windows throughout the walls, which house the exhibit items shown at the time.



The strips of light throughout the museum are a complimentary way to break up the built in paneling that forms the exhibition space of the museum. These lights can be followed throughout and selectively highlight the exhibit spaces and descriptions along the exhibition's path.

79 The approach to the Danish Jewish Museum is quite inconspicuous amongst the original National Library of Denmark. Surrounded by ivy growing up the faรงade, the entry way and gathering area contrasts the red brick in the back, while silently denoting the entry of the museum with a lone door and sign to the side of it. The large windows in the library only slightly contribute to the lighting in the museum. Due to the nature of the programming, the lighting is mainly electrical and designed by the architect to enhance the overall experience within. The light quality throughout the space is not as somber as one would expect - it is rather direct and angular, which enhances the undulation of the museum.

:YOUR RAINBOW PANORAMA Location: Aarhus, Denmark Architect/Artist: Studio Ólafur Elíasson Year Built: 2011


Your Rainbow Panorama sits on top of ARoS in central Aarhus, Denmark. The seamless panes of glass gradually change colors from pane to pane, giving the user a full light spectrum experience. This particular piece of architecture built for the museum is a unique experience that combines architecture and art to enhance the user experience of a cultural node within the city.

Resting on top of the ARoS Aarhus

Your Rainbow Panorama no lighting control

Kunstmuseum is the new architectural

- rather it is the daylight that affects the way

addition by artist Ólafur Elíasson, a Danish-

the space is viewed whether it is on a sunny

Icelandic artist. The project itself is bound

or cloudy day, or even at night.

by lighting, not only through the fact that the

The site of Your Rainbow Panorama is

space is all visual perceptions of the color

ideal for being atop a museum. The museum

spectrum, but also through the means of

is a piece of infrastructure in which lighting

creating a boundless perception of the city

can be seen as one of the most important

seen only during the daylight hours.

aspects in the building, just through the

This addition to ARoS is both an art

programming it serves. Your Rainbow

piece and an architectural addition that

Panorama is no different because it seeks

illustrates the way a building can draw the

to directly influence the user through

public to infrastructure through means of

interesting lighting design.

lighting design and daylighting design. The lack of electrical lighting in the space gives

81 Elísson’s approach to the rainbow panorama is that by changing the color of the glass pane by pane, one can alter the perspective of the viewer through the color variation that the city is seen through. As the user walks through 150 meters of different color glass, Elísson states that it is the movement which “becomes the vehicle of the visitor’s color perception.”



Looking at Your Rainbow Panorama from the underside, the user is able to view those within the space itself, floating above the museum in this contained space and perceiving the city in an entirely different way.

83 Credit: Studio Ólafur Elíasson

The light nature of Your Rainbow Panorama can also be seen in the structural members below the inhabitable space. The entire circular addition is held up by thin steel columns that give the appearance that the space is floating above the museum. Below is a deck in which users can gather on nice days Denmark, seeing the users walk around within the space above. “Visible from afar, the work divides Aarhus into various colour zones and acts as a beacon for people moving about the city – an effect that is heightened at night when lights running the circumference of the walkway illuminate it from within.” - Studio Ólafur Elíasson

:YOUR ATMOSPHERIC COLOUR ATLAS Location: Aarhus, Denmark (Traveling Art Piece) Architect/Artist: Studio Ólafur Elíasson Year Built: 2009


There are multiple facets of color in the space that all blend together through the usage of thick fog that allows for a subdued gradient of color. Users can gravitate towards their favorite colors and navigate the space through the way that the colors blend, similar to a gradated color spectrum.

Your Atmospheric Colour Atlas is a

is clearly defined. The users senses are all

lighting design installation by Studio Ólafur

obscured to a certain point so that the color

Elíasson that was displayed at ARoS Aarhus

becomes the most important element within

Kunstmuseum in September 2015. The idea

the space. Our other senses become the

behind this installation is finding your way

most important part of way finding through

through the light spectrum through only the

the space, and in a sense, that translates

use of your color perception. In a room full

to architectural lighting design through the

of thick fog, a combination of sight, color

usage of light to highlight aspects of the

perception, and memorization guide the user

space. The light is used to help guide the user

in the space via perception.

and affect one’s experience in space.

It is through this installation that the user views the importance of color within a space, but not in the sense that the space

85 “Your atmospheric colour atlas comprises condensed banks of artificially produced fog in a gallery. The fog is infused with the additive colours red, green and blue, emitted from hundreds of fluorescent lights that are installed in the ceiling as a colour grid, thus indirectly introducing a scale of measurement of the space. At each colour boundary, two hues blend to create transitional slivers of cyan, magenta, or yellow, adding up to a zone of pure, white light in the middle where all the colours meet. Walking through the dense, illuminated atmosphere, visitors navigate the space by using this intuitive colour atlas.” - Studio Ólafur Elíasson



The structure in the photo is visible from above, however when in the space, the fog gently shields the structure - rather only the light coming through is visible. The fog itself is a way to disperse the light, similar to a frosted window, and allows a seamless transition of color for people to experience throughout the space.

87 The light within the space can be categorized into both the light and the dark categories. The installation is thoroughly experiential, while the fog adds to the atmosphere of the space. Defined by Richard Kelly, this is more of an ‘ambient luminescence’ quality of light, mainly due to its even distribution, yet still contributing to the atmospheric quality of light. “Ambient luminescence is the uninterrupted light of a snowy morning in the open country. It is fog light at sea in a small boat, it is twilight haze on a wide river where shore and water and sky are indistinguishable.”


:MODERNA MUSEET Location: Stockholm, Sweden Architect: Rafael Moneo Year Built: 1998


Above the terracotta colored concrete walls, the lanterns of light are visible. These lanterns allow daylight to enter through diffused glass from all four sides without obstruction from other built forms. The lanterns are ideal due to Stockholm’s long summers, with sunrise being northeast and sunset being northwest.

Moderna Museet is a contemporary

gallery designed by Renzo Piano for assorted

art museum located on Skeppsholmen in

collections and visiting researchers. This

Stockholm, Sweden. The museum features

space is thoroughly controlled by electrical

daylighting strategies in each of the gallery

lighting and features a sliding storage gallery

spaces that are reminiscent of lanterns

in the double height space, in which the

floating above the sea. In the center of the

special collections can be stored on and

gallery space is the “lantern” above, letting

systematically moved through the space

in diffused light to enter and wash the white

depending on the gallery showing.

walls of the central square. This provides

Moderna Museet features a café with

an overall ambient luminescence across

panoramic views of Stockholm and has wall

the gallery space while selective lighting

to ceiling windows that allow light through

via spotlights and other museum lighting

the space. More so, serves as a popular

highlight the pieces of art on the wall.

meeting point among locals.

In addition to the main building, The Pontus Hultén Study Gallery is a special

91 The sunlight is penetrating through the diffused glass lantern, giving an overall ambient quality to the space, however it is the selective lighting in the gallery which really highlights the artwork that it housed in the space. This gallery space is not only great for paintings, but also sculptures as many sculptures can take a maximum of 250 lux. The lantern above provides an overall daylight in the middle that doesn’t exceed this amount, making the space great for mixed exhibit usage.



Moneo’s addition to the museum reflects on the past boating culture of Skeppsholmen and adds light boxes reminiscent of components of a lighthouse. Rather than lighting up the surroundings of the museum, these lightboxes allow daylight to enter the museum space and selectively light certain exhibits within the galleries.

93 The lantern at the top of each gallery space gives full control to the type of daylighting within the space. The semiopaque glass allows for the diffusion of light so that a proper amount of illuminance is dispersed depending on the type of exhibit housed in the gallery. The lightness that comes through these lanterns is very subdued - the white walls and ceiling on the interior maximize the reflectance of the light that comes through. In addition, complete control of the lights within the space allow for the proper lighting conditions needed.

:KULTURHUSET Location: Stockholm, Sweden Architect: Peter Celsing Year Built: 1974


The front façade of the Kulturhuset in Stockholm is completely glass and shows the footprint of each floor within the complex. These windows, which face north towards Sergels Torg, light the space within without direct solar gain, adding a soft daylight glow to the interior spaces.

Kulturhuset is a multi-program center

provided in Kulturhuset line the windows,

of arts and culture located at Sergels Torg

where users can look out upon the square,

in Stockholm, Sweden. It is considered one

while a series of escalators carry the user

of the great case studies of Nordic public

up and through the space. The user passes

infrastructure and sought early on to bring

various different functions of the building,

together all different groups of people

such as a cinemaplex, a museum, and plenty

through the use of one common factor

of restaurants located all the way up to the

- through culture, whether it is a shared


culture or culture through the means of art, music, food, and video. The entire complex’s facade facing

The building brings people from all over to experience cultural amenities in Stockholm while providing a well-lit, indoor

Sergels Torg is comprised of double-skin

habitat for the cold and dark winters in

floor to ceiling glass, allowing the light to


poor through and illuminate the space on the inside. The furniture and sitting areas

95 Housed within the Kulturhuset is various programming, such as museum space. Behind the exhibit shown is the double-glazed floor to ceiling window that lights the gallery spaces within the museum in Kulturhuset. The white hanging panels facilitate the reflectance of daylight while the dark floor tends to absorb the light within.



The layering of the Kulturhuset is a key, defining factor in this piece of public infrastructure. Much of the programming can be sought out through key circulation space, which is copiously located throughout the building. Each layer incorporates a mix of programming, which in turn gives the decision up to the user, creating flexible programming.

97 The entry of the Kulturhuset acts as a big living room for the space and provides porosity to Sergels Torg right outside. Kulturhuset’s users gather in the this space, which provides seating, high ceilings, indoor/outdoor transparency, as well as access to the other facilities in the upper floor. The blurring of indoor/outdoor space in Kulturhuset is particularly important during the winter because of the climate of Stockholm. The living room provides a space where people can feel like they’re interacting within Sergels Torg, while giving the

:MARKUSKYRKAN Location: Stockholm, Sweden Architect: Sigurd Lewerentz Year Built: 1960


The entry of Markuskyrkan is off of the main courtyard and reveals no apertures of windows to the eye, rather just a door that seamlessly blends in with the heavily mortared brick and reflecting pool (pictured during the winter) in front of the entry.

This Lewerentz church is a classic piece of architecture in which mood

modernized, vaulted arches. Markuskyrkan highlights the quality

lighting plays a crucial role within defining

of light that is needed to evoke a certain

the space. Located in a souther suburb

emotion within the space, particularly in

in Stockholm, Sweden, the church used

public buildings like churches, where many

particular directional lighting throughout

people from different backgrounds come

the space to create a feel that is reverent

together. The quality of light engages the

towards the programming that it is. The

user through the orientation of the light,

windows throughout the space are set to

types of fixtures, and the focus of light.

the outermost edge of the wall, highlighting

In Markuskyrkan’s case, the natural light

the load-bearing brick walls that the church

highlights certain aspects of the church

is comprised of. Within the sanctuary of the

programming, such as light pouring through

church, low, floating lights grace the space

the windows onto the altar, emphasizing

with a dim glow that guide the user towards


the altar, which lies underneath a series of

99 Each space of Markuskyrkan has a particularly lighting strategy based on the need and the function of the space within the church. The worship space is lit through windows that act more like apertures, particularly because of the way the windows are pushed to the very outside of the opening with a relatively unobtrusive window mullion.



Within the worship space, the selective openings that allow light to pour in are highlighted with a vault the focuses the light downward to the floor, while blending seamlessly with the brick, thus blurring the outside and inside at every opening. Key areas of daylight light the space, while the rest of the lighting is through electrical lighting.

101 Within the worship space, the lighting is very subdued and luminous because of the program of the building. The soft glow from the lights float above the pews within the church and create an reverent environment for worship. The key openings along the southern wall of the church allow daylight through, while emphasizing the temperature difference between electrical lighting and daylighting. The space itself has an overall comfortable feel for the user, particularly in a place of religious reverence. The materiality draws upon older architectural construction, while looking towards modernity with the lighting fixture and daylighting strategies for emphasis rather than necessity.

:STADSBIBLIOTEK Location: Stockholm, Sweden Architect: Gunnar Asplund Year Built: 1928


Gradually descending up towards the main entry of Stadsbibliotek, the large entry is the main focal point of the faรงade and is emphasized with a floor to ceiling window system, which contrasts the terracotta color of the entire structure.

The Stadsbibliotek is a main circulation

warmth and golden color throughout the

library in Stockholm, Sweden. Built in

space, even when the sun barely rises in the

1928, the library is a great example of early


architectural lighting through a means of

The reading rooms that surround space

daylight. Upon entering the library, the user

have large windows, giving the user natural

walks up to a black marble adorned entry

light to read and work in. This use of natural

way and proceeds up a staircase to the main

light brings the library user together due to

rotunda. Within the main rotunda, the white

the warm quality that Nordic light possesses.

plaster walls surround the space, along with

This warmth brings people to gather in the

the books that encompass the user.

light and encourages interaction through the

Daylight spills through the windows in the rotunda and bounces off the white, lightening the space even in the darkest time during the winter. The low sun angle of Stockholm during all years create a nice

shear fact that people work well with natural light.

103 The light inside the reading room is mainly focused towards the mezzanine level, while the users below are surrounded by books. This lighting strategy, along with the materiality of the white ceiling and walls, allow the daylight to enter and filter down into the space without the need for electrical task lighting above. The only other light that enhances the overall lighting of the space is the lighting above the stacks and the task lighting at the tables, which are mainly used during the dark winters and night.



The main entry into the library is surrounded by black walls, which emphasize the transition between the rotunda space, the cafÊ, as well as the children’s area, all of which can be entered from this transition space. The dark walls highlight the whiteness within the rotunda, as well as emphasize the view to the exterior cityscape.

105 The rotunda space within Stadsbibliotek is the shining feature of the library. The user is surrounded by books in a complete 360 degrees, all lit by clerestory windows above that drastically change the lighting from winter to summer. The lighting along the stacks are mainly for task lighting, while the overall light feeling comes through from the daylighting within the space. A large chandelier hangs from the center of the space, creating a play of brilliants, while the overall focal glow of the space is a combination of the white, textured plaster walls, the lighting that is above the top stack, as well as the daylight that fills the space, creating a comfortable atmosphere for the user.

:MALMÖ LIVE Location: Malmö, Sweden Architect: Schmidt Hammer Lassen Year Built: 2015


Malmö Live has a dynamic faade and provides generous glazing amongst every side of the building. The complex hosts various programming such as offices, ground floor pedestrian access, and theaters. The rhythmic vertical windows shimmer at night while providing generous daylight during all seasons.

In the southern, industrial Swedish

Malmö Live seeks to create a

city of Malmö, Malmö Live revitalizes the

sustainable environment in the urban context

city center with a piece of infrastructure

in which the public is brought in. The various

that provides concert venues, conference

methods of lighting range from integrated

facilities, housing, and a hotel. The open

electrical wall lighting to daylighting through

ground floor layout provides a space for

various skylights around the public space on

visitors to filter through and experience

the ground level. Double height circulation

the different mixing spaces throughout

and congregation space engage the public

the building while still having access to

through a mix of encouraging group seating,

the various programming options that

café space, and event holding space. Well

the complex supports. The use of copious

lit spaces define the ground floor with key

glazing throughout the complex not only

lighting throughout the space for successful

creates focal points on certain areas of the

venue way finding.

building, but also attends to the needs of the programing in the space.

107 The lobby and mixing chamber of the facilities in Malmรถ Live are lit from above through a skylight that washes the dark, stone walls, which are lit with strips of light that are reminiscent of the windows of the building on the outside.



The complex hosts various events outdoors, however the public space outside can be seen as an extension of the public mixing space on the inside of the complex. The lobby spills out into the streets and provides an environment for users to meet and still to various edges of the newly planned island in the city center.

109 The daylighting and material usage in Malmรถ Live enhances the overall feel of the space. The structural components and window mullions are painted white, which help reflect the light entering, while the ceiling and the floor are both light in color, allowing for the similar reflectance. This daylight within this space is balanced by the top daylighting provided along the left wall, which allows the light to filter down in to space below. This technique cuts down on the contrast between the light, but also enhances the materials used.


:UNIVERSITY OF HELSINKI LIBRARY Location: Helsinki, Finland Architect: Anttinen Oiva Arkkitehdit OY Year Built: 2009


The University of Helsinki Library provides generous daylight through atrium spaces that sometimes intersect the exterior facade. Small windows along the light the reading spaces around the stacks within the library, providing ample light for tasks other than computer usage.

The University of Helsinki Library is a main public building in central Helsinki and is one of the largest buildings integrated

organic shape that are cut out where the atrium space in the library is. The library has many spaces that are

within the campus. The building itself is

daylit through the use of skylights. Around

a prime example of contemporary Nordic

these atrium spaces are working desks where

architecture seen throughout the region

users can read books that they have found or

characterized by whiteness with selective

use their computers. The stacks themselves

lighting throughout the space.

have different task lights in order to highlight

Running along Kaisaniemenkatu in central Helsinki, the building’s façade approaches the street wall with ease through the use of materiality found within the urban surroundings. A new approach is made to the building with the use of many small windows on each floor with large curtain walls in an

the books on the stacks, but nonetheless incorporate path and way finding throughout.

113 The atrium space’s daylighting cuts through the middle of the library, giving an opportunity to create a “courtyard” building while remaining inside. Along the perimeter of the atrium, reading and task space is provided and gives the user night daylighting for encouraging healthy work habits.



Within the circulation space that gradually spirals up near many of the library’s stacks, the very top of the space has a directly lit space that lights the entire stairwell down and spills out around the main circulation area on each floor.

115 The overall light quality within the library varies throughout the building depending on the programming of the particular space. The reading area pictured above gives indirect sunlight to the users in the space, while providing lighting above which alleviates the contrast between the darker area of the stacks and the wall of light at the facade. People within the space tend to gather in this area, as well as along the perimeter of the atrium spaces in order to work in natural lighting. The stacks in the space are predominantly lit through electrical lighting, while layering the lighting as the user moves to the exterior walls of the building.

:SEINÄJOKI PUBLIC LIBRARY Location: Seinäjoki, Finland Architect: JKMM


Year Built: 2013

Seinäjoki Public Library embraces the materiality and the precedence put forth by Aalto in the urban design of the town, while embracing contemporary architecture with programing throughout, adding to the flourishing library culture of Finland.

The Seniäjoki Public Library is a piece

particularly during the winter months. Each

of public infrastructure located in the civic

piece of the electrical lighting scheme is

center of Seinäjoki designed by Aalto. The

designed with what the function below

library respects the boundaries created

needs, whether it is lighting the book stacks

by Aalto and seeks to bring some of the

or lighting a reading area for children.

common themes found within Aalto’s work

Seinäjoki also brings the outside winter

to an updated civic node within the city. The

to the interior through the use of white,

library is focused on the overarching library

semi-reflective flooring, while looking at

culture of Finland which seeks not just to

other materials with low reflectance for both

provide a public resource of knowledge, but

ceiling materials and wall materials. The use

also create an engaging atmosphere that

of large glazing allows for the transparency

draws past the notion of simply housing

between the building and nature, highlighting


Finland’s focus on nature.

The interior of the library uses creative materials that work well with lighting,

117 The Seinäjoki Public Library uses full façade glazing to embrace the subdued northern light throughout the year, while creating contrast as the user descends into the stacks, where full electrical lighting comes into play.



Spaces throughout the library fall more under the Danish “hygge” perspective, particularly when it comes to reading rooms and spaces. Within the children’s reading space, a grotto and forest environment is created to make the user feel comfortable, while a play of brilliants through lighting emphasizes the environment created here.

Near the main stacks area, boardform concrete undulates above with long hanging light fixtures that illuminate the book stacks below and lead the user throughout the space. Descending through the stepped seating, the users moves through the auditorium space and is greeting with bright, white flooring, bringing in some of the daylighting from above and throughout the space.


During the long winter nights, the space outside is lit by the light from the inside that pours through the full faรงade glazing, which is surrounded by dark copper cladding, emphasizing the space inside while also blurring the indoor and outdoor environment. This is particularly vital to northern climates because of the time spent indoors and enhances the biophilic nature of the architecture.

:KIASMA Location: Helsinki, Finland Architect: Steven Holl Architects Year Built: 1998


The exterior of the Kiasma situates itself looking out towards Töölönlahti and Aalto’s famous Finlandia Hall. The dynamic façade plays with different lighting, materials, and apertures, while focusing the main façades at the very public points of the urban fabric within city center.

The Kiasma is a contemporary art

white walls with cool light that makes the

museum located in the center of Helsinki at a

space very clean and Nordic. Throughout the

busy cultural node where other infrastructure

gallery rooms are selective openings that are

is slowly being built up. The Kiasma has

characteristic of Steven Holl, playing to the

primary functions as a museum, but also

space’s function while still keeping a quality

secondary functions such as a coffee

of light that is light and ethereal.

shop, museum shop, and plaza in which a

The museum serves as an important

skateboard ramp is location. Upon entering

connector throughout the city, opening up to

from the main doors on Mannerheimintie, the

other infrastructure such as the Musiikkitalo

user experiences whitewashed board formed

to the north and the new Helsinki Central

concrete walls leading up to gallery spaces by

Library, slated to be completed in 2018 by

means of a gradual ramp.

ALA, located to the east near the main train

In the ceiling is an angular fixture that disperses daylight through the main circulation hall of the Kiasma, washing the


121 The main entry hall into the Kiasma is purely Nordic. The whitewashed boardform concrete that goes all the way up to the ceiling, the slow ramp that gives users the ability to choose their path to either the first or second floor, and the white lighting above that illuminates the whole space, all contribute to the feeling of being in a contemporary art museum within a Nordic capital.



Steven Holl plays with different lighting approaches throughout the museum, allow for the curation and adaptability of different spaces within the museum. Walls of light that are semi-opaque contrast the dark flooring and emphasize the gallery work that is shown in the exhibit space, rather than put the focus on the architecture itself.

123 The overall approach of the Kiasma takes the idea of creating a node within city center, making it more of a public space (with the inclusion of free entry on the first Friday of every month,) and bringing the public in to choose their own path of whether they want to just go to the cafĂŠ, the design store, or the entire museum itself. The lighting throughout the museum focuses on indirect light, which is practical for a museum, but creates a dynamic and welcoming space through the use of materiality and lighting approaches, such as the entire ceiling light fixture, which feels reminiscent to an artificial sky when first entering the space.

:MUSIIKKITALO Location: Helsinki, Finland Architect: LPR Architects Year Built: 2011


The exterior of the space along the public park side of Musiikkitalo provides generous glazing along the cafe and lawn space, which encourages the usage of both as completely public areas. There is a blur between the indoor and outdoor space within the building because of the triple height facade along the southern side of Musiikkitalo.

Musiikkitalo, which is located within the public square in Töölönlahti near the Kiasma and the New Helsinki Central Library,

contemporary ideas such as a full, structural glass façade facing the park. The daylighting through the building

is the main music hall in central Helsinki. The

interplays with the use of electrical lighting,

combination of public programming, such

however there are key points in which

as a café, music store, and landscaped steps

daylight highlights the space that the

leading up to the street, as well as a more

user is going through, such as the catwalk

private programming in conjunction with

hallway on the second floor, seemingly

Sibelius Academy, makes Musiikkitalo the

emulating theater catwalks found in the

a crossroads of meeting within Helsinki city

music auditoriums. The main entry highlights


the mixing space below through tactful

Musiikkitalo blends in with the buildings surrounding through the use of materiality that respects the abundance of Jugend throughout Helsinki while drawing upon

daylighting, which shines throughout the entire year.

125 The upper floors of Musiikkitalo is daylit along the circulation space, which leads the user to various offices and practice rooms for the Sibelius Academy, Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra. The floating hallway is pulled away from the walls to give way for daylit to penetrate to the ground floor.



The daylighting within the main entry space is very direct during the summer while more indirect because of the weather during the winter. Nonetheless, the southern exposed within at the very top lets direct daylight through to light the space below, where users may buy tickets to the various performances throughout the year.

127 Although a similar program to Malmö Live in Malmö, Sweden, Musiikkitalo’s materiality takes a much different approach, particularly when it comes to lighting the café space. Acting as a transparent wall that blurs the inside and outside, the full glass façade allows light to pour into the café while the dark materiality of the space emphasizes the light and the contrast within the space. Musiikkitalo’s light is very layered as the user moves up through the building, and puts focus on certain areas, particularly the more public areas like the café, mixing chamber, and circulation areas where most go when a public event is happening in the space.

:LUX HELSINKI Location: Helsinki, Finland Architect: Multiple Year Built: 2016


Over a five day period of time in Helsinki city center, the LUX Helsinki light festival illuminates the dark winter and gives the public incentive to venture into the cold winter days in order to interact with the various exhibits created by various designers from around the world.

LUX Helsinki is a lighting design festival

festivals are also a way to bring the public

taking place during the beginning of January

outside, even in the cold, and help put a focus

every year through the center of the city. It is

on the well-being people need to have during

a user engagement festival in which lighting

this time of the year.

designers from all backgrounds create

The exhibition ranges from theater

interactive exhibits of light for the public to

projections on iconic buildings throughout

enjoy. Particularly during the darkest days of

Helsinki to installations that are collaborative

the winter in the Nordic countries, electrical

with artists across the region. Interaction is

lighting is the focal point for cities, however

a key element throughout the festival and

the light is imagined in a different way

encourages the user to play with the light in

through the lighting festivals that take place.

any way that they want to, sans designer.

LUX Helsinki changes every year and features designers across various professions and fields, with a main goal to create something spectacular for the public. These

129 Along Esplanadi Park in Helsinki city center, the path for those in within the center of the park, which is filled with large light displays on the way towards Bulevardi and Vanha Kirkko, which are lit with interactive lights for the public. LUX Helsinki exceeded nearly 500,000 visitors during the five day period in 2016, despite temperatures of -25 Celsius.



During the four day light festival, many exhibits encouraged interaction with the lights themselves, as seen below. This stop along the festival’s path, named “Color Park,” lights up the entire Vanha Kirkko Park and gives users a chance to interact with the lights via motion and proximity sensors, as well as the power to change the light through color.

131 The overall light experience throughout LUX Helsinki’s path changes the built environment during the winter months when there is the least amount of daylight during the year. The light festival provides a nodal quality throughout the city that allows the users to focus on where they would like to visit, as well as acts as hubs for meeting and interacting with others. CLOUD gives users the opportunity to interact with one another underneath the cloud that comprises of over 6000 incandescent light bulbs. The users are able to congregate underneath the cloud and turn the bulbs off and on, giving the user the directionless power within this exhibit

:HELSINKI CENTRAL LIBRARY Location: Helsinki, Finland Architect: ALA Arkkitehdit Year Built: Expected 2018 Renderings: ALA Arkkitehdit


The new Helsinki Central Library creates different areas throughout the library through the use of spacial organization, concept design, and lighting strategies. The daylighting on much of the main floor is provided through a very high glass façade, while providing warmth through a wooden ceiling, which is brought through from the outside, thus giving a sense of a porous main floor where circulation can flourish.

The Helsinki Central Library will be a brand new library within the main center of

park. The use of wood in the library’s façade

the city. It will be a crucial hub to cultural

and undulating elements are key in the

engagement throughout the city and will

expression of Finland’s natural source that is

contribute to the massive infrastructure build

so vital to the architecture throughout the

up that Helsinki has been experiencing.

country. The exterior lighting design of the

The programming within the library is

library draws upon the hygge feeling and will

geared more towards Finnish culture, even

glow during the night, creating a recognizable

with the inclusion of a sauna within the

and ethereal centerpiece next to the Kiasma

library, and it speaks volumes on the library

and the Musiikkitalo. This serves not only for

culture found across the Nordic countries.

dramatic purposes, but includes the safety

This multi-faceted hub will include maker

of the user in the public square where the

spaces, a café, a reading room, and a lecture

library is situated.

hall, which will all serve the public in a variety of ways in bring more traffic to Töölönlahti


Located in TÜÜlÜnlahti across from Musiikkitalo and the Kiasma, the plaza in front of the space emphasizes the other buildings within the area and creates a cultural node from the city. The long, thin footprint ensures the light is available throughout the day, while not blocking the other buildings located in the same area.



On the very top floor, the lighting provided is mostly through daylighting, with apertures in the ceiling that are reminiscent of Aalto’s signature round skylights. The ceiling is rendered to be white, while the glazing along the walls are semi-opaque, allowing more daylight to enter, although just enough for the amount of light needed in libraries.


In addition to readings spaces that are more traditional, the upper floor also includes an undulating floor that has built-in seating, areas for children to play, as well as programming slipped in underneath, such as stacks pictured above. The Helsinki Central Library will act as a node for the city, but also have multiple nodes within the structure itself, such as a public sauna, reading area like the one rendered above, and also a media and maker space area.


:OSLO OPERA HOUSE Location: Oslo, Norway Architect: Snøhetta Year Built: 2007


The Oslo Opera House sits at the edge of the sea and becomes an artificial “beach” within the built environment, allowing the user to interact with the seafront while also interacting with the building’s functions on the inside and outside.

The Oslo Opera House is notoriously

the winters through the use of an almost

the most identifiable piece of architecture

entirely white facade. During the winter, “the

along the waterfront in Oslo, Norway. Built

carpet” as described by Snøhetta, transitions

by Snøhetta in 2009, the opera house

seamlessly into the frozen sea, and is

incorporates private programming, such as

typically blanketed with snow. This gives the

music auditoriums, with a more public aspect

appearance of the structure floating out of

like a café, habitable roof, and habitable

the sea, but more importantly, it highlights

water’s edge. The structure itself slopes

the main space that rises out of the sea like a

down into the water, giving a graceful climb


up towards the floor to ceiling windows that lights the entire mixing space down below. Using materials that fit within the Nordic region, the opera house creates and inviting atmosphere that is full of warmth through the use of timber, while highlights

The warm light throughout the year creates a compelling piece of public infrastructure for all to enjoy.

139 The materiality of the Oslo Opera House contributes to the daylight design within the main space. The light, wooden accents that lead the user to the multiple levels of the performance auditorium contribute to the overall “Nordic� feel of the space.



The lighting of Oslo is of a Nordic quality and possesses golden tones during all four seasons depending on the time of day. The large facade system allows for daylight to enter during all times of the year and contribute to the overall lighting of the mixing chamber, which is where most of the programming unrelated to performance is located.

141 The quality of light during darkness is a soft glow of the wooden interior cladding and the space is illuminated even more with the addition of the white interior spaces, highlighting the ceiling and the structural columns that hold of the large roof. “The Carpet,” as Snøhetta has named it, is only illuminated by cool blue lights along the main circulation spaces leading up to the main entrance of the building, however the use of “The Carpet” enhances the nodal quality of the opera house as a piece of important Norwegian public infrastructure within the newly developed waterfront of Oslo.

:KILDEN PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE Location: Kristiansand, Norway Architect: ALA Arkkitehdit Year Built: 2012


The Kilden Performing Arts Center enhances the daylighting experience at the main entrance of the building along the harbor, and brings light into the building through a scoop-like soffit that extends through the floor to ceiling glazing system, eventually connecting to the floor below.

Sitting on the harbor in Kristiansand,

The use of large white mullions on the floor

Norway, Kilden Performing Arts Center

to ceiling glass faรงade contrasts the darker

focuses on the cultural center within the

flooring, which has inset lights in order to

public realm. The main faรงade of the building

highlight the undulating wood at night. The

facing the harbor rhythmically undulates

patrons of the performing arts center go

like a sound wave, creating a dynamic,

until the undulating focal piece and cross the

welcoming gathering space both indoor

threshold to the auditoriums, however the

and out. The soffit is pulled all the way from

user is always drawn back to the focal point

the top of the building, into the interior

for reception, intermission, or gathering. The

space, which is sealed by a floor to ceiling

dynamic lighting design within the space

glass faรงade which allows an abundance of

is reflected through all times of the day

daylight through and into the lobby.

with a great combination of daylighting and

The materiality of the performing arts center reflects the Nordic countries through influence of nature throughout the building.

electrical lighting.

143 The large pieces of glass, along with the white mullion system, enhance the soffit that extends from the outside in, while also emphasizing the Nordic qualities of design, as well as a Nordic design material palette typology consisting of metal, wood, and various types of stone.



The entry to Kilden has a porous quality to the design, due in part to the glass faรงade that encloses the main mixing chamber, as well as following the rhythm of the angled wooden ceiling. During events, users gather inside, as well as outside along the harbor, and flow through the space during before and after the various performances at the center.

145 The lighting of Kilden Performing Arts Centre intentionally focuses on emphasizing the roof that extends from the outside and down into the space. Uplighting, which is very common in programming such as performing arts centers, highlights the wood above and during dark evenings, helps the glass faรงade fade into the background, emphasizing the rhythm of the wood. Users are able to sit, congregate, and move throughout the space while being led back to the auditorium entrances, which are highlighted by brightly painted walls. The portals are created by the openings in the wooden structure, and allow users to filter through as they please.

:PALEET SHOPPING CENTER Location: Oslo, Norway Architect: JVA Year Built: 2014


The facade of the Paleet Shopping Center blends into the street wall of Oslo and remains inconspicuous to the user, looking more like an normal building rather than a shopping center.

The Paleet Shopping Centre creatively takes the programming of a shopping center

throughout the seasons. A shopping center, particularly in the

and integrates lighting design and daylight

Nordic countries, can be a means just to

throughout key public areas in the shopping

escape the cold, as well as a means for users

center. The main atrium is the focal point of

to meet their friends or just shop around.

the entire shopping center - plunging down

Lighting design plays an integral part of retail

the middle is a reflective sculpture in bronze,

culture and retail stores, and the application

which reflects the daylight down and through

is seen throughout the entire shopping

the main circulation space. Around this


space, the main public interaction is centered around movable furniture within the space that is created around the edge conditions of where light comes through. The sculpture through the atrium space creates different light plays throughout the day, as well as

147 The interior atrium space of the shopping center transforms the experience of light within the space and enhances the overall quality of the material palette used. Light flooring and reflective copper cladding give way for light to bounce throughout the space and highlight the atrium space within Paleet.



Contrasting the copper sculpture located within the atrium space, Paleet also features areas where the daylight is unobstructed from the skylights and makes way for a natural daylight experience which doesn’t change the overall color of the daylight entering the space.

149 The geometric, reflective sculpture within the atrium space is a technique that is rarely used, however the sculpture successfully reflects light down and creates a dynamic pattern of light that fills the space and it’s perimeter areas, which are mainly used for eating, sitting, and circulation. The circulation space and sitting areas are where people tend to group together with one another the most, so enhancing the area with a play of brilliants is a great way to attract the user to the space and also enhance the beneficial qualities of natural daylighting.

:LANTERN PAVILION Location: Sandnes, Norway Architect: AWP / Atelier Oslo Year Built: 2010


Lantern Pavilion relies heavily on the daylight and the dark to achieve a welcoming space that is open to the public and within the city center. During the night, the pavilion is lit to be - similarly to its name - a lantern, which spills light over into the spaces surrounding.

The Lantern Pavilion is a brilliantly

Nordic region. These shingles are made

designed, central meeting point located in

of glass and layered on each other as a

Sandnes, Norway, near the city of Stavanger.

contemporary take on the vernacular idea

The idea of the Lantern Pavilion is a modern

of weather resistance through the use of

take on the Norwegian vernacular fishing


house, however it is scaled up and raised

The glass gives way for the main

above the ground to create clear habitation

structure to be seen at all times of the day.

space underneath. The idea is to create an

The lighting in particular gives showcases the

area in the city center where formal and

building during the night and lights up the

informal events could take place, whether

space around it, illuminating in all directions.

it be musicians on the street playing or

This outdoor space redefines the character of

a gathering space for multiple groups of

the public square and creates shelter within


the city grid for events all year.

The pavilion is clad in a series of shingles unlike the kind found around the

151 The Lantern Pavilion’s materiality enhances the quality of daylight within the space, particularly due to the need to create shelter within a wet and cold environment along the coast of Norway. The glass shingles, similar to the traditional boathouse shingle, allow daylight to penetrate the structure and reduce the need for electrical lighting during the day.



The overall structure of the pavilion is a wooden system with metal joinery, however the wood allows for the pavilion to feel light, warm, and welcoming. The large, tree-like structural members lift the entire pavilion up off the ground and allow for the creation of flex-space underneath, which contributes to the constantly changing usage year-round.

153 The pavilion blends into the street wall along the pedestrian area of Sandnes. The lighting doesn’t stand out or outshine the other buildings located in the same area, however it still encourages the use of the pavilion during the dark by generously lighting the space underneath. The quality of light is more nodal than anything, particularly due to the nature of the programming of the structure, which isn’t much programming at all. The ability to create a sheltered area that encourages multiple usages, while lighting it through both daylight and electrical is a nice take on a small piece of infrastructure that greatly changes the city center environment.


:PIXEL CLOUD Location: Reykjavík, Iceland Designer: UNSTABLE Year Built: 2013 |temporary|


Pixel Cloud marks a node within the light festival path and highlights the main square outside parliament, which can be seen just in the background behind Pixel Cloud.

Light festivals throughout the Nordic

The installation itself was a series of

countries are popular in the winter time due

scaffolding draped with translucent white

to their ability to bring life and atmosphere in

fabric for light projection. Accompanied

a time when light is scarce. Pixel Cloud was

with music by Icelandic musician Eðvarð

a temporary, habitable installation for the

Egilsson, Pixel Cloud drew thousands of

Winter Lights Festival, located in the public

Icelanders and visitors to the square and

square in front of the Alþingi (the Icelandic

became one of the biggest crowds since the

Parliament.) The installation looked at the

protests of 2008. Pixel Cloud is a exemplary

condition of the Icelandic economy and

case study in which lighting design can draw

reflected on the five years that had passed

people together based on a unifying aspect,

since then. Pixel Cloud created catharsis for

whether it be positive or negative, but more

Icelanders by bringing those experiencing

so experienced.

the lights back to the place in which many revolutionary political ideas took place during the Icelandic economy collapse.


The cubes created by the structure of Pixel Cloud are lit up with various lighting projections, but also creates a habitable atmosphere of light within the structure itself. Users are able to go up into the structure, underneath, and around, all while the projections are cycling through.



The habitable nature of Pixel Cloud is a new take on inhabiting lighting design rather than just observing the lighting design. The interactive nature of Pixel Cloud created a successful installation within the lighting festival, while also giving the user the choice of how to interact with the structure without intentional guidance.

159 The lighting strategy is mainly accomplished through two factors - the projection itself and the white mesh material that surrounds the entire structure. These two in combination allow for the light to not only be projected onto the surface, but also brings in unconventional materiality within lighting design. The mess allows for the lighting to be layered and layered, thus creating a new dimension within the installation. Pixel Cloud acting as a node within the lighting path is crucial to its location within the festival and due to the politically motived subject matter that it focusing on.

:LJÓVARÐA Location: Reykjavík, Iceland Architect: UNSTABLE Year Built: 2015 |temporary|


The Hallgrímskirkja, an iconic church in Reykjavík, provides a blank façade that can be enhanced through temporary lighting projections during the winter, which light up the urban environment during a time almost devoid of light.

Ljósvarða, as part of the Winter Lights

integrating the public and bringing them

Festival in Reykjavík, Iceland, was a light

into the design realm without thinking that

projection created by UNSTABLE, in which

they would not understand design. This also

Hallgrímskirkja was illuminated with hand

brings interaction with the public through

drawings created by 100 children aged three

allowing the children to come see the light

through five.

projection, while finding their own drawings

Ljósvarða is not merely just a light

during the sequence. It helps to bring the

projections, but it is an installation that

public together through commonality, and

transforms existing architecture throughout

that’s the want to experience the light festival

the urban fabric. Hallgrímskirkja is notably

during the winter time. This is an overarching

one of the most recognizable pieces of

scheme for light festivals across the Nordic

architecture within Reykjavík, and provides


the perfect canvas due to its materiality and main façade. Ljósvarða is a great example of

161 The various projections, which are quite common in winter lighting festivals, add to the rhythm of the churches faรงade, while engaging the visitors during the lighting festival, as well as the participants in the creation of the lighting projection.



On opening night in 2015, many people throughout Reykjavík gathered at the square in front of the church to experience the projection, but then also follow the lighting festival’s path throughout the city, bring the public together through the use of light in the winter time.

163 The lighting of HallgrĂ­mskirkja layers light upon the built environment through projection, however there is no daylight involved. There is a need for the darkness in order to enjoy the light festival, however each light installation acts as a node throughout the city for the public to gather and congregate at. The path itself through the light festival creates a porosity throughout the city and leads people to places that they may have never visited or gone to. The lighting is also a different take on ordinary electrical lighting, but rather is special because of the temporal nature of the light.

:HARPA Location: Reykjavík, Iceland Architect: Henning Larsen Architects & Batteríið Architects Year Built: 2011


The outside facade of Harpa is dynamically enhanced through the use of daylighting and tinting of certain panes of glass, creating a facade that is reminiscent of a fish’s scales.

Harpa is a large piece of public

façade system. The polygonal shapes of the

infrastructure located in city center in

windows transform the space inside and

Reykjavík, Iceland. Serving as the primary

create a texture that is carried up through to

conference center in Iceland, Harpa

the ceiling sculpture, which reinforces the

incorporates large music halls, conference

shape of the façade system.

hall programming such as meeting rooms

This hanging sculpture is a prominent

and administration offices, as well as public

aspect of Harpa and reflects the light

programming like a theater, installation area,

throughout the space and down the triple

and café.

height atrium space, which serves as a mixing

The hall itself warmly welcomes the user

are down below for the users of the space. As

from the outside through the use of different

the user explores the center, no one space

tinting of the windows, which glistens in the

is dominated by being fully public, but rather

warm Nordic light and reflects along the sea.

intimate areas a created throughout the

The windows themselves are quite innovative


and take on a new form of a double-glazed

165 The wall system in Harpa is a new approach on the double and triple glazing systems seen across the Nordic countries. The window is structural in nature and uses a polygonal shape to not only stack up the height needed, but also provide a structural depth, while still allowing natural daylighting to come in.



The daylighting within Harpa is further enhanced by the mirror sculpture that sits about the main atrium space, which allows the daylight to reflect in and fill the space. This strategy helps limit the need for electrical lighting in the space, but also avoids having hanging fixtures within the space.

167 The lighting strategy of the space is to maximize the use of natural daylighting, which creating a dynamic and interesting faรงade that remains structural and gives the ability to create a full height mixing space surrounding the performance spaces within the middle of the building. The play of brilliants remains within the conceptual design itself - the different tinting of windows, the mirrored sculpture that hangs in the ceiling, as well as the innovative polygonal glass system all emphasize design that has daylighting within mind.




MAJOR CITIES: Seattle, Portland, Vancouver POPULATION: 15.7 million SOUTHERN LATITUDE: Oregon - 42°0 N NORTHERN LATITUDE: British Columbia - 60°0 N DENSITY: 11.29/km2 | 29.25/sq mi


SUNRISE: 07:55

SUNSET: 16:21



SUNRISE: 05:12

SUNSET: 21:11

171 The Pacific Northwest is a region of

glacial rebound after glacial melt. There is a

North America that is characterized by

diverse local culture that has been lent by

temperature rainforests, vast mountain

mass immigration by various groups, which

ranges, and is home to over 18 different

contribute to lively culture to what is the

indigenous tribes of North America, as

melting pot culture of America.

well as 20 different tribal sovereignties

The Pacific Northwest’s main industries

within Washington state alone. The states

include fishing, timber, and technology as the

of Oregon and Washington were officially

most recent growing industry. There is a great

welcomed into the union in the years 1859

sense of social welfare within the region,

and 1889, respectively.

as well as a culture that relies heavily on

Seattle is a city rich in Nordic culture and history, and is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest regional boundaries. With a similar geography to that of the Nordic countries, Seattle was shaped by glaciers during the ice age and by post-

environmental activism and social freedoms.

:SEATTLE CENTRAL LIBRARY Location: Seattle, Washington Architect: OMA+ LMN Year Built: 2004


From the outside of the library, the shell takes shape of a shifting polygonal box. The glass system looks like a curtain wall of a high rise, however different due to the diamond shape of each pane of glass.

The Seattle Central Library, designed

in turn, allowed for one glazing system for

by OMA, includes many lighting strategies

the entire building while also giving way for

throughout the entire project that ranges

lighting customization where it was needed.

from color theory to innovative façade

This daylighting strategy is not only for the

systems. Taking in account the American

purpose of design, but also for the effect that

type of central business district, the project

it has on the users within the space.

included daylight strategies that focused

Areas of the building are colored

on different areas of the building’s façade

differently depending on their functionality,

– how the other high-rises affected the sun

which in turn signals to the user where they

exposure on the site.

should be within the space. The reading

With this in mind, a glass system

room on the top level is completely lit

was created that contained a stretchable,

by daylighting during the day with a few

punctured metal plate, in which the frit

recessed lights during the day, however it is

inside the glass could be controlled on

the daylighting that is the main focus on the

how much the metal was stretched. This,

top level.

173 The Seattle Central Library is known for its pop of color throughout the interior, which directs people where to go and is consistently color coded for way finding throughout the library. The green represents the mixing chamber of the library and can be followed all the way to the top of the floor building.



The group meeting area of the Seattle Central Library is colored a pure red tone and creates a fluid, dark, and dynamic space for those circulating throughout the area. The intensity of the red, in combination with a mixture of daylight in key places, brings dynamism to the space throughout the day when the sun penetrates the space.

175 This public infrastructure node within Seattle has several functions and is a new take on a library system within a large urban city. The daylighting design is focused on being layered throughout the building, due in part to the shell and core parti that OMA has created. The transparency can be seen at the street level as well, creating a multilayered block connection that draws the user through. The bright daylighting throughout the space is very selective, highlighting the ground floor with programming such as a cafĂŠ, lecture hall, and short stacks that are the grab and go option for books. The reading room at the top is fully daylit and meant to feel reminiscent of being in the clouds, particularly due to its location on the 11th floor.


There is a strong tradition of daylighting across the Pacific Northwest, and Nordic

through PV panels on roofs, immense

lighting design bears a strong relevance to

southern façade exposure, and opportunity

the community here. Lighting Design has

for design within shading systems.

been influenced by a number of factors here

Seattle’s latitude is that of 48 degrees

in the Northwest, which include the region’s

north, and although relatively lower than

location and weather conditions, along with

the Nordic countries, a strong tradition of

the industries and urban design of the cities

daylighting has influenced the design in the

in the region.

area. Much of the Nordic influence in Seattle

The Pacific Northwest is bound by it’s


conditions contribute to energy efficiency

came from mass Nordic immigration to

weather conditions, which greatly affect

the Pacific Northwest, and although much

the daylighting of spaces here. The regional

population is Norwegian and Swedish, there

weather is classified as a maritime west

are smaller groups of Danes, Finns, and

coast climate, which is marked by both cool

Icelanders that settled here. The landscape

summers and cool, but not cold, winters.

bears resemblance to the landscapes

Across the year, precipitation is more evenly

across Sweden and Norway, with a variety of

dispersed, contributing to the cloud cover

mountain ranges, valleys, fells, and lowlands.

and gray winters associated with the region.

The neighborhood of Ballard is predominantly

The cloud coverage is key in the daylighting

influenced by Nordic heritage, still seen today

because it allows for a more evenly dispersed

in Bergen Square and on Syttende Mai, where

light, creating conditions that are optimal for

many of the residents march in the parade

indirect lighting through natural lighting.

and celebrate Norwegian Constitution Day.

For most of the winter, the overcast skies give an overall lowlight quality to everyday life, however this quality of light provides a very equal lighting condition that works well to the use of skylights within buildings, as well as side lighting. During the summer, the region gets the most amount of sunny conditions, with long days and a sun that is relatively high in the sky. These



From the Nordics to the Northwest

Seattle has many opportunities throughout its neighborhoods to create

examples of temporary lighting infrastructure

civic nodes that function similarly to those

that brings the public together through

in the Nordic countries, and serves the


users through a means of multi-faceted

Each country has opportunities that

programming that is meant for all year

can be well integrated and applied to Seattle

round. This is similar to the discussion of

through a focus on user-centered urban

the winter city, however it is applying that

design, spacial design, and lighting design.

principal of all year round infrastructure to

There are many facets of design that Seattle

the inside of a building.

can apply from the Nordic countries, from

Seattle can take many lessons


Iceland’s light festival pieces are prime

materiality to sustainable methods that

from each Nordic capital and implement

reach further beyond energy efficiency and

these ideas similarly into it’s evolving

more into the public realm of design. Lighting

built environment. Copenhagen’s biking

design isn't just integrated into space, but

infrastructure with safety lighting and guide

also integrated into the region through

lighting in mind can give bikers comfort

geographic location, design priorities, and

while biking around the busy streets of


Seattle. The cultural nodes within Stockholm can serve as case studies in how to further development Seattle as a destination city for arts and culture, but also in helping Seattle define what the regional arts and culture is. The city-centric design of Helsinki could serve as a great study on how to continually push the limits of lighting design both inside and outside around a city that puts people at the forefront. The studies across Norway show great ways of implementing lighting design through a means of “statement pieces” that bring the public outside during the months that they are usually indoors.

179 The Union Arcade is a great example of how daylight design is integrated into a through-block connection in Portland, Oregon. The space is seemingly Nordic, and nods to the materiality used across the Pacific Northwest, showing a common thread that has stayed with the region since the first Nordic Immigrants. This strong sense of identity is Pacific Northwest inspired, with a hint of new Nordic design.

:ACKNOWLEDGMENTS SUURKIITOS to the Valle Scholarship and Scandinavian Exchange Committee for making this possible Birgitte Bundesen Svarre Joonas Saaranen Arto Heiskanen Dr. Thomas Schielke

PHOTO CREDITS p. 17 - ©Mira Høstaker | p. 28 - © | p. 37 - © | p. 40 - © Eric Blair-Joannou | p. 41 - ©DISSING+WEITLING Architecture | p. 45 - ©Whitenight Lighting OY | p. 48 - ©C2 SmartLight | p. 50 - ©Whitenight Lighting OY | p. 53 - ©Kollision | p. 74, 75 - ©Lundgaard & Tranberg Architects | p. 79 - ©Libeskind Architects | p. 80, 83, 86 - 87 - ©Studio Ólafur Elíasson | p. 92 - ©Aiert Buruaga | p. 93 - ©Holger Ellgaard | p. 96 - ©Pol Martin | p. 106-09 - ©Adam Mørk | p. 116-19 - ©Tuomas Uusheimo | p. 120 - ©Pirje Mykkänen | p. 132-35 - ©ALA Arkkitehdit | p. 13841 - ©Gerald Zugmann | p. 142-45 - ©Iwan Baan | p. 146-48 - ©Nils Petter Dale | p. 149 - ©Einar Aslaksen | p. 150 - ©Jonas Adolfsen | p. 151-53 - ©Nils Petter Dale | p. 156-57 - ©Marcos Zotes | p. 158 - ©Eric Wolf | p. 159 - ©Árni Sæberg | p. 160 - ©Marcos Zotes | p. 161 - ©Estelle Divorne | p. 162-63 - ©Marcos Zotes | p. 164 - ©Henning Larsen Architects | p. 172, 174 - ©Philippe Renault | p. 179 - Jeremy Bittermann

MISC. CREDITS Chameleon Design / country dot maps ©Christopher Morris / Uncredited photos

©Christopher Morris 2016

A Guide to Nordic Light | Case Studies Across the Region  

A book of case studies across the Nordic region.

A Guide to Nordic Light | Case Studies Across the Region  

A book of case studies across the Nordic region.