The underpass at Alingsås railway station is a typical urban situation and frequently felt to be threatening and uncomfortable. Even though recently renovated, the underpass only has a conventional lighting scheme. Both ends of the underpass open out into interesting architectural spaces – on the one side steps lead up in four directions, and on the other side, as a contrast, there is a small landscaped area.
Under the guidance of lighting designers Melanie Rosenthal and Meike Goessling the group analysed the site and arrived at the conclusion that the underpass functions as a border between a residential area of Alingsås and the town centre: peaceful and quiet on the one side, hectic and fast-paced on the other. In the course of the workshop the group created a link through light, connecting both sides of the town. The group used LED technology to achieve a pulsating effect. The final scheme incorporated two scenes: one regular, steady pulse, one fast and hectic.
The group thus adapted the lighting to align with a feeling of quietness and calmness and to generate a contrast that would reflect the hectic flow of passengers arriving at and leaving the station area – the everyday rhythm of our lives!
The result shows how light can dissolve borders within town and create emotions.
Participants: Marion Thoiss, Martin Peck, Tuula Lepistö, Frank Schiff, Yu Yue, Xu Mengdi
Student electricians: Andreas Evaldsson, Björn Andersson
The three bridges
The second project this year was called “the three bridges”. These three bridges mark the entrance to the town of Alingsås and consist of a large railway bridge and two smaller pedestrian and cycle paths. In addition, all three bridges cross over a main road. Solid concrete pillars support the railway overpass. Given the location of the site, this is one of the most frequented areas in the town. During their analysis of the site, Denise Fong’s group found five art pieces hidden behind the pillars in the dark under the bridge. A local artist had created pictures of birds, embedded in the concrete structure. The group decided to highlight these art pieces and adopt the bird symbol for the overall project. Furthermore, the group discovered that there was a strong contrast between the hard concrete and the surrounding natural areas. Located directly at the side of the solid structure there is a green area lined with trees. To define this contrast further was another challenge the group looked into. To underscore the contrast, the group used only white light on the concrete. The delicate art pieces are highlighted with spotlights to attract the attention of passers-by. The use of light and shadow rounds off the scheme.
The green areas were transformed into magical spaces using soft, coloured light. Two small flights of steps that lead up to the pedestrian bridges on either side of the railway bridge were illuminated to replicate a starry night and a waterfall. The image of birds was included in all design parts of the scheme and the careful observer was able to discover shadows and coloured birds in different parts of the site.
The white house
The third project focussed on the Alingsås Energi headquarters. The design of the local energy provider’s main building seems very down-to-earth. The white facades and the green window blinds provide an excellent surface for any lighting designer to work on. However, since the building is otherwise unlit after dark, it remains dull and dark at night.
The team headed by Maurice Asso decided to accept the ambitious challenge and create a sophisticated lighting scheme. Since the designers were creating a new night-time appearance for the energy provider and one of the main sponsors of the event, the idea was to create a scheme demonstrating the importance and significance of the building. The task of the staff working in the building is to provide the residents of Alingsås with energy. The client can be more than content with the result: a green-lit wall on either side of the building which without doubt relates to green energy, and colour changing LEDs on the main façade. The change of colour mirrors the cycle of the energy flow.
The white light defining the edges of the building stands for the energy provider’s strength and stability. The heart of the project, however, is the dynamic part in the interior. Yellow, white and blue lighting tell the story a growing town which requires more and more energy. Every now and then it reaches overload, demonstrated via a series of rapidly blinking lights. Once the drama of the situation has been overcome, the cycle starts all over again. The group not only demonstrated Alingsås Energi’s task to continuously comply with the demand for energy, but also showed what design opportunities today’s cutting-edge equipment can give the lighting designer.
Participants: Erika Uchermann, Patrick Machon, Silje Rosenberg, Mari Hoffart, Erlend N. Bauthus
Student electricians: Erik Andersson, Mattias Johansson, Robin Johansson
The housing estate
Arto Heiskanen’s group selected a newly built housing estate as their project. The project consisted of two main building façades – one with a clear, smooth design, the other with an interesting red brick structure. In between there is a landscaped area surrounded by benches and with a small play area for children.
The workshop team designed a lighting scheme which catered to the users of the housing estate and could be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike. The final result exceeded everyone’s expectations. The scheme was reminiscent of a stage with three scenes: the dark red façade created the backdrop, the passing stretch of river, which was bathed in moonlight, reminded onlookers of the history of the place, and two “tree-actors” in the centre of the green area amused visitors and passers-by.
Participants: Sandra Chavarro, Ana Carolina Salman, Ana Perkovic, Owen Fallows, Zhao Xiufang, Kristine Nimante, Eirin J. Berg, Magnus Almung
Student electricians: Albin Östling, Alexander Wängberg
The Plantaget Park
The Plantaget Park gets its name from former times. From 1727 to the middle of the 19th century the area was used as a plantation to cultivate tobacco. Apart from the name, nothing links the park nowadays with its past. During the day the complete beauty of the park is visible: small sculptures, hedges and bushes create a recreational area where people can forget their everyday stress. The group headed by Brendan Keely created a recreational, almost spiritual area for the night-time. The visitor was invited to feel the calmness of the space and take time to reflect on his own feelings. The project was divided into two main parts: the path under the trees and the area around the little fountain. Light on the trees defined a path leading into the site. On the way into the park the visitor’s expectations were raised, preparing him for the second part of the installation, which comprised a fountain lit in warm white light to create a feeling of security. A series of strategically placed vertical screens washed with coloured light attracted attention and encouraged the observer to look more closely, dream and visually define the depth of the space. The frames holding the textile screens looked like sheets of white paper waiting to be filled with the visitors’ stories and thoughts. The team thus succeeded in transforming the dark park into a friendlier, calming space.
Participants: Linn Osvalder, Line Beate Svestad, Linn Sæther, Marius A Karlsen, Emil Oppegaard, Oskar Ostnes
Student electricians: Markus Front, Berat Berisha, Andreas Wedlundh, Simon Sandin, Mikael Sjögren, Jonathan Åkerbrand
The water site
The market square in Alingsås marks the centre of town. A small river divides the urban area into a smaller and a larger square, linked via a pedestrian bridge and a section of road for vehicular traffic. Both bridges are well frequented. The group’s concept was to pick up on the history of the site. The canal was formerly used by the local textile industry to rinse out old textiles and dispose of leftover dyes. Thus it was not uncommon to see the water in the canal change colour, adopting the colours that were rinsed out. Graham Festenstein’s group recreated this feature with light. To reinforce the effect, the group also hung large canvases in the river, which “poured” colour into the water – created through dynamic lighting effects. The result was clearly a reference to the past: the colours slowly washed along the canal. The steps alongside the river received soft light to create comfortable, inviting areas to sit and enjoy the scene.
Participants: Nikolaj Birkelund, Frederikke H. Gregersen, Rahbar Fanaian, Mandi Botha, Tine Grnstad, Eyveig Antonsdottir, Bulut Büküm, Alexander Frydenlund
Student electricians: Noh Andersson, Jimmie Gustafsson, Tommie Goles