On the 2nd December 2022, the Stockholm skyline changed overnight by the intriguing new glow from Gröna Lund Tivoli. For the first time since its inauguration in 1883, the historic amusement park had opened its doors during winter, welcoming spectators to discover a Winter Wonderland like no other.

The preferred route to the theme park is by ferry, as the park appears to be floating above water as one approaches. Facing Stockholm’s city center, an important part of this view is the boardwalk. Normally during winter this boardwalk is quite uneventful, but as part of the new seasonal adventure Winter Wonderland, and conceptual area “Rainbow Land”, the lighting designers were commissioned to create an art installation here using light as the main medium of expression to engage the area. This event would run from 2 December to 8 January. However, due to the park schedule, the possible installation time on site would only be 3 weeks for the entire event.

The result was 18 great light arches along the one side of the boardwalk, followed by pixel bars in both directions. The arches, consisting of an aluminum structure dressed with 4 LED-neon RGB-strips in profile, comes to life in colour and dynamic light patterns through DMX control. To fixate the arches to the boardwalk without drilling holes, special brackets were developed to clamp the iron feet between the ground boards. To withstand wind and impact, thin metal wires were strung up between the arches. The arches were designed to build and disassemble like Lego, to be removed after the event and reused next year.

The pixel bars surrounding the rainbow arches were mounted in metal grids for stability, and programmed to synchronize with the light play of the arches. The light installation along the boardwalk was accompanied by a soundscape, creating a truly immersive experience for the visitors.

As part of their mission, the lighting designers conceptualized, designed and coordinated the production of this installation, before finally composing the lighting scenarios during programming. The technical solutions for the structure and control system were developed to meet existing conditions and customer requirements.

As part of the energy and maintenance optimization plan the facility was further updated with controllable dynamic lighting systems, preset to minimize light output during closed hours to preserve the night sky.

Needless to say, the production time of 2 months for this particular installation was quite the challenge with everything else being built for Winter Wonderland simultaneously, especially since the installation had to withstand extreme Scandinavian weather and the stream of eager visitors. Gröna Lund Tivoli has long claimed to be the place where the impossible becomes possible. As it turns out, with the right project team, it’s true.

With the intention of recreating this success story for years to come, Winter Wonderland Gröna Lund and it’s boardwalk has claimed its place as the new crown jewel of Stockholm’s winter skyline.

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