Located along one of the many bends of the river Nyköpingsån in Nyköping, Sweden, is Åkroken. Åkroken is a cozy play park that boasts many fun elements like walkways along running water, built up play areas for kids, large, magnificent trees, terraced seating areas and even an adjacent city square. Besides these, the park also comes with an interesting history which was unearthed during the initial groundwork when several remains from the medieval times were found including boat building structures. This fueled inspiration for the design of some of the play elements in the park like the rustic wooden houses and water pump.

The lighting of a space like this has certain responsibilities: it must enhance the experience of the elements without overpowering them. It should not obstruct the views the site provides. And lastly it must encourage visitors to use the park by generating an ambience of safety with no obstructive glare.

This is achieved by carefully layering different lighting types to selectively enhance certain features and generate an overall cozy atmosphere. The walkways are studded by short bollards that have a Corten finish as an ode to the rusty deterioration of all the boatbuilding of the past and to also blend well with the warm tones of the site. The play area and seating feature lighting integrated into the carpentry that are hidden from view but provide a warm glow to the area.

The large trees that dot the park are specially highlighted with the help of custom designed bollards that have tiltable spotlights integrated in them. These bollards are tall enough to be clear of snow cover, but short enough to remain out of visual field. Lastly the large open square is fitted with pole top luminaires that evenly light the square and visually resemble the ‘Stora Torget’ nearby. Pole mounted spotlights are sparingly used in the park to highlight some sections like entrances and park swings.

All light sources are of a warm 2700K and are shielded from view and wherever possible placed below eye level to maintain a human scale.


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