Play of light and shadow

A new tram stop at the square Clemenstorget in Lund, Sweden, initiated a rebuilt of the 7000m2 large space, to create a more welcoming and interesting urban space. The design of the square is inspired by the Jugendstil architecture of the surrounding houses from the late 1800s. The square should be both functional, interesting and activate the imagination of the visitors. Therefore, the lighting design has but a great emphasis on the large trees at the square, the art installations and the colorful play-pavilions, which are all elements that represent the new urban space.

In general, the lighting design at Clemenstorget is concerned with both ensuring a safe, well-lit space, and with creating contrast and a playful relationship between shadow and light, intriguing and mesmerizing both children and adults. By working with contrast, the space is filled with light that renders an interesting and welcoming space, whilst still ensuring it doesn’t become unsafe to pass through.

The area around the tram stop is well-lit with a high uniformity, ensuring that everyone easily can recognize and see others, who might be waiting at the tram stop. The well illuminated area is secured through columns alongside the tram trail. Each column has multiple adjustable spotlights, which have been directed and focused to ensure the pleasant, uniform atmosphere supporting the safety at the tram stop.

When moving away from the tram stop, the lighting atmosphere becomes more playful and is concerned with the relationship between light and shadow. The artist, Ebba Matz, has created art installations inspired by the structures of treetops. Through the interaction with light the installations create a play between light and shadow. During the daytime a shadow play is created on the ground contrasted by the daylight. At nighttime the lighting design creates interesting light patterns on the ground, complementing the natural patterns created by the trees. These light patterns are created through spotlights integrated into columns. The columns are extensions of the art installation itself, thus minimizing the conspicuousness of the mounted spotlights. The art installations itself also becomes a structure of light, by being illuminated with integrated spotlights. These structures of light contribute to creating a safe and well-lit environment.

The play between light and shadow continues with the colorful play-pavilions at the square. The light, mounted inside the pavilion roof, encounters the beautiful carvings in the wooden panels. This creates interesting shadow plays, extending the pavilions upon the borders of the wooden panels, out into the space. The roof integrated lighting also ensures the pavilions don’t become dark and unsafe spaces and ensures that children can play here even during the dark hours.

Throughout the square, COWI has worked with establishing a well-lit environment supporting safety, as well as creating interesting plays of light activating the imagination of the users.


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