Project team:

Architects: FCG Finnish Consulting Group Oy
Lighting design: WhiteNight Lighting Oy
Electrical engineer: FCG Finnish Consulting Group Oy
Metal work: Markku Juselius Oy

11. Feb 2015

Day and night shadows

Text: Joachim Ritter

In this day and age the Olympic Games cast longer shadows than they would like. The Olympic idea has become the focus of discussions revolving around political influence or commercial interests. Half a century ago the motives for holding the Games were definitely geared towards other main foci. Not that many people remember what that was… One good reason for using shadow in a positive sense to remind us all of the 1952 summer Olympics.

As a rule, designers use light to narrate the stories behind historic events and their impact. There are not many creative minds who consider shadow to be the core of their designs and opt to exploit the power of darkness – although light and shadow are inherently linked. Why do the majority of projects appear to have applied all means to keep them apart, even going as far as brightness overload to separate what belongs together and can be balanced naturally? There are other approaches that work. And they work very well. With shadow as a powerful narrator. The 1952 Summer Olympics were held in Helsinki Finland, and Ahvenisto near the city of Hämeenlinna was the venue for the modern pentathlon where swimming was one of the events. In the meantime, the public outdoor swimming pool was listed by Finland’s National Board of Antiquities as a cultural heritage site, and after a long wait it has now been finally restored to its old glory. The restoration was also intended to acknowledge the significance of the location for Helsinki as well as in an international sense. In this context the design was also a question of light. And shadow, as it turned out. The lighting design practice WhiteNight Lighting was commissioned to create a light art piece for the new service building facade. The brief was to somehow integrate the history of the location into the art piece. A detailed site analysis carried out by WhiteNight Lighting revealed that daylight enters the site at an optimum angle during the opening hours, which led the design team to include daylight in the design.[…]


The full version of the article can be found in PLD No. 96

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