Nichtoffener Wettbewerb | 10/2012

Lights over Kruunuvuorenranta

ein 1. Preis

Speirs + Major


West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.




General description of the entry

”Luonnonlyhdyt” holds darkness as a background for the lighting, just like the landscape is a background for the architecture created by human beings. Natural light and darkness play several roles in the entry. The designers have considered the meaning of light usage as a factor in the social and communal atmosphere of the area. The views seen in the changing natural light, the materials used in the area, the characteristics of different seasons and human activity are woven together into a lighting concept that follows natural values. Designing darkness as proposed gives an opportunity to observe celestial bodies and the night views over the sea. The lighting constructed by humans reacts to the amount of natural light both with the amount and colour temperature of light.

Artistic general impression

The plan is detail-oriented and proposes that light should be used when appropriate, but only in small amounts. The end result is a beautiful whole, with the particular strength of focusing on the resident’s point of view. The entry concentrates on handling the interior features of the area, but it is difficult to estimate the effect of the lighted whole to the overall scenery. The details are sensitive and inventive.

Among other places, such as the Silo 468 in the shore area, different reflective roof and landscape surfaces and charging spots for portable lanterns have been proposed as locations specially dedicated to light art. The idea of points of light that move from their charging points in the dark landscape is fascinating, but it would work best as a part of a light event. In the dark, the work of light art Silo 468 in Kruunuvuorenranta is displayed towards the city centre and Suomenlinna more prominently than the other lighting of the district.

Suitability to the challenging environment and overall scenery

The roots of the lantern theme go deep in history: Earlier in history, the property owners in the cities were obligated to acquire and maintain outdoor lighting themselves. Via the ”lanterns”, the residents of Kruunuvuorenranta would be offered a chance, and the tools, to have an effect on the lighting and atmosphere in their home block.

The entry proposes that the green areas in the city plan should be opened up and the natural characteristics of the area should be used as a factor to strengthen the identity. Kruunuvuorenranta is seen as a link in the chain of parks in Helsinki and the maritime residential area that complements it.

The intimate atmosphere in the courtyards is created by the light streaming from the windows and from light fittings installed in niches and on low bollards. It is possible to implement the plan by developing the area’s building instructions so that the suggested lighting method and architecture join together naturally.

It is not possible to implement all the ideas as they are; they need development to function as parts of permanent lighting instead of parts of light events or temporary installations.

Impressiveness, imaginativeness and attractiveness

The proposed plan joins communality and a village feel with lighting methods and the content of light events in a moving way. The dialogue of darkness and light emphasises the creators’ desire to set the focus of the area on observing nature, times of day, seasons and the night sky in the new maritime residential area.

The lighting as seen from the city centre is muted and the work of light art Silo 468 is the most prominent element in the landscape when it is dark. The focal experiential points are formed inside the block structure. The lighting on the shores also primarily supports the environmental experience of a person moving in Kruunuvuorenranta and has less of an effect on the view from a distance.

Visual and technical sustainability

The design of the lighting methods is open-minded. The focus on details is a great challenge for both visual and technical durability. The plan has good ideas, and developing them can create a new kind of lighted urban environment that emphasises communality.

Energy efficiency and lighting control

The extremely low lighting levels and a determined and energy-saving control idea make the entry energy-efficient. LED technology gives the most flexible solutions for lighting control, even though it is also possible to control the other proposed light sources.

Technical feasibility, structural quality factors

The plan presents technical specifications on the light fittings, light sources and special materials. The control is used in e.g. Saaristolaivastonkatu Street, where the colour temperature of the lighting is planned to change depending on the time (a cool white 6500 K during the rush hour, with a warmer colour temperature of 2700 K later at night). Hanging light fittings with dimming are proposed to be installed over the carriageway, while the light fittings for the pedestrian and bicycle route would be attached to walls. On the seaside edge, the plan is to attach light fittings to trees. Implementing the lighting methods requires careful further development of the plan. The area will be in construction for a long period of time, which means that the hanging light fittings proposed between the buildings must be temporarily installed on posts before the buildings themselves are ready.

Environmental friendliness and life-cycle properties

Well-considered lighting methods, the use of natural light, lighting control and conserving darkness produce a sustainable whole, even if it does require further development.


The plan aims for a very conservative amount of light, but the city spaces have a clear, legible hierarchy. In critical areas (pedestrian and bicycle crossings, low-speed residential roads and other functionally demanding areas) the amount of light must be adjusted to the activity and the lighting levels of the environment during further planning.

Serviceability, maintainability

The planned solutions are mainly common. Light fittings with wooden fixtures, portable lanterns and minimalistic courtyard lighting require the further development of the solutions and also a close co-operation with the designers of the buildings in the area.

Consideration of physical environmental factors

The creators have wanted to design darkness and support observations of the changes in natural light and the seasons, especially from the direction of Kruunuvuorenranta. The focus has been on planning the immediate surroundings of habitation and creating ideas for light events at the cost of presenting the features of the landscape when viewed from a distance.

The fresh plan that creates immaterial levels for the area also takes the physical environment of the area into account.


Expenses will be on a usual level, especially if the solutions for the special equipment (lanterns, lights in trees) are developed further. There has not been much experience on the control systems yet. The entry does not contain an estimate of the construction or maintenance costs. The temporary installations of hanging lights will create additional expenses, but due to the area’s long construction period, the lighting needs to be partly built on temporary structures in any case.
Aerial © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Aerial © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Lighting Plan © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Lighting Plan © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Park Plan © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Park Plan © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Section © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Section © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Harbour Scene © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Harbour Scene © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Flickering stone © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Flickering stone © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Diagram © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture

Diagram © West 8 urban design & landscape architecture