Nordhavn station

Copenhagen, Denmark
Krilov Arkitekter

Photo: Lysdesign Sweco Danmark

Honoured at Danish Lighting Awards

At Copenhagen’s Nordhavn station, a total of 250 illuminated Lay Light fibreglass tubes guide pedestrians and cyclists through the underpass and shortcut that links Nordhavn and Østerbro. Early this year, the safe and beautiful experience which the lighting creates for the users of the underpass contributed to a highly impressive second place at the 2016 Danish Lighting Awards.

Innovative, simple, safe
These were just some of the accolades bestowed on the underpass at Nordhavn station when it came a distinguished second at the prestigious 2016 Danish Lighting Awards. According to Krilov Arkitekter, who masterminded the design side of the project, simply being nominated is an honour:

We hold the Danish Lighting Awards in particularly high regard as the participating projects are chosen and nominated by specialists in architecture and lighting design. We are proud to have been considered and we are thrilled with the result,” says Jesper Krilov Sørensen of Krilov Arkitekter.

Users of the new underpass are similarly enthusiastic, as is clear from the many positive reactions received, not least on Instagram, where a host of videos and photos have been posted documenting the fascinating effects of the lighting – see here

In the Danish Lighting Awards the Nordhavn station underpass was up against very strong opposition, including the eventual winner Nørreport Station, and RAGNAROCK, Denmark’s new museum for pop, rock and youth culture.

Can an underpass be safe and inviting?
According to Jesper Krilov Sørensen, yes, but it’s not easy because underground public spaces are seldom particularly pleasant to use. Often, both cyclists and pedestrians feel unsafe there and opt to cross the road above ground instead. Therefore the basic idea behind the Nordhavn underpass was to make it a friendly place to be:

“We devoted a great deal of energy to making the underpass a safe and friendly place, and in this respect the lighting plays an important part in what is otherwise a dark urban space. Using the translucent fibreglass material Lay Light we had an opportunity to create a clearly lit path and promote facial recognition. And when the fibreglass becomes illuminated it gives the underpass a special extra dimension.” – Jesper Krilov Sørensen

See how the fibres become visible in this video

The light shines through more strongly low down in the tubes and illuminates the path, after which It gradually becomes weaker until it reaches the top, at approx. 2.2 m, inside the underpass. This creates a pleasant light at face level. Every fourth tube is illuminated by LED, the most cost-efficient and appropriate lighting for the underpass.

Vandal-proofing encourages use
Another major challenge regularly confronting underpass designers is the high risk of vandalism. Where this is concerned Lay Light is the perfect choice:

The Lay Light tubes have two functions: to create inviting illumination at night and provide an attractive facade during the day. Fibreglass was the perfect material due to its incredible strength, and in this way were able to vandal-proof both the lighting and the underpass” explains Jesper Krilov Sørensen

The strong fibreglass tubes are executed as a trellis construction in the underpass to avoid vandalism and graffiti along the wall
A future benefit for the City of Copenhagen is also that Lay Light is both weather-resistant and corrosion-free, minimising underpass maintenance costs.

Read more about the 2016 Danish Lighting Award here

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Photo: By & Havn – Peter Sørensen

Fibreglass was the perfect material due to its incredible strength, and in this way were able to vandal-proof both the lighting and the underpass – Jesper Krilov Sørensen