Farum Midtpunkt, Denmark
SPACES: Best Landscape Lighting Scheme – Low Budget
Farum Midtpunkt (FM) has inspired generations of architects. It is an experimental modernistic coherent housing area built in the early 70’s, with its iconic cubic rooftop terraces reminiscent of Asian rice fields. The housing area is a part of the Danish Social Housing Sector which is a unique model providing appropriate dwellings for diverse groups of people at reasonable rents. This model gives tenants the right to influence their own living conditions and creates a true community of individuals from different backgrounds, economic stature and age groups. During Farum Midtpunkt’s first 45 years its demographic and social structure has changed several times. Five years ago the residents decided it was the time to renew FM with an updated socio-environmental project.
During the development of the new landscape and lighting design there was a great focus on involving the tenants in the process through workshops. These workshops followed the tradition of the Social Housing Sector by being conducted as a democratic organisation with the community having a right to discuss and influence the direction of the project. The outcome of this process is a new outdoor area that is tailored after the specific needs of the neighborhood, which houses 3,500 tenants.
The lighting concept is developed to increase the subjective feeling of safety, prolong and support the social interaction into the dark hours, be site-specific and hence reinforces the feeling of local community, and be energy efficient, sustainable and robust.
Functionally the scope mainly consists of the illumination for the three newly established areas: the welcome apron towards Frederiskborgvej, the cut through the building which is the new entrance gate to FM and the activity park which is located immediately after the throughway.
In the entrance area the intention was to establish the visual order where the wayfinding would be intuitive and unambiguous. The goal was to illuminate all the internal surfaces of the throughway to create a visual framing for the original spiral staircase, which is showcased as artwork, once it was redesigned as a standalone sculpture, free from the building’s superstructure. The special attention was given to the details of integration of the custom-made LED luminaires into the throughway cladding. The coherent illumination of the vertical surfaces is completed by the illumination of columns on the ground floor.
At the activity park side the lighting tends again to reinforce and showcase the new architectural framework: the walls along the edges area are illuminated and the centrally located timber deck is ‘lifted’ by light so it ‘hovers’ above the pavement. The location is now the new social heart of FM. People are invited to stay and spend time at this newly created cultural and community spot.
On the other hand the lighting is also developed to support the new sport activates (skateboarding, roller skating, football and rock-climbing) for those who prefer motion at night. While developing the lighting for the sport activities the emphasis was on establishing glare-free solutions while still creating an inviting and multi-use space.