Creative lighting design creates a visually interesting lighting environment and transforms the city centre square into a vibrant hub at night-time.
The square is at the heart of the Swedish city, Eskilstuna. It is framed by a mix of historical and modern buildings, including the City Hall. The square is a marketplace and a venue for recreation, festivals, and political rallies. After major renovation and the installation of a new lighting solution, the Fristadstorget square was re-inaugurated on 25 October 2014.
Client : The Municipality of Eskilstuna
Landscape architect : Anna Edvinsson, the Municipality of Eskilstuna
Electrical consultant : Ramböll
Electric installer : Lykil
Photographer : Sten Jansin
Completion year : 2014
Energy efficiency with playful scenarios
The lighting design is characterized by a well-measured balance between function and aesthetics, and the historical and the modern. It features a range of lighting scenarios that change according to time of day, season, and occasion. In addition, we designed a custom-made street light fixture – the lantern, with a modern yet classic shape to fit the expression of the square.
The task was to make the square attractive and enjoyable to spend time in and explore around the clock. Eskilstuna is a role model for other municipalities since they have dared to invest in a complete, flexible lighting system that allows light to create safe spaces where people are encouraged to meet up and engage in various activities.
The overriding goal was to create a safe and dynamic space for inhabitants, in which the lighting caters to the human scale by creating intimate and attractive spaces within the vastness of the square.
By analyzing the location and daylight conditions at an early stage, we acquired the knowledge we needed to create a lighting programme tailored to the specific place, its history, and the needs and wishes of the municipality.
We developed a flexible and dynamic lighting scheme, with a range of lighting scenarios that can be changed according to time of day, season and occasion – from New Year celebrations to concerts and events. The system is energy efficient, and the trees are lit according to specialist recommendations to ensure the lighting is not harmful to them.
Gobo projections of varying colours and patterns make the light change continually creating a new visual experience each time passers-by visit the square.
Inviting urban spaces
To cater to the human scale, we focused on creating smaller spaces within the large square. One way of doing that was using warm light. Having tested various options and studied the interplay of colours and materials, we settled on luminaires with a colour temperature of 3000K, with the exception of those lighting the sculpture ”The glory and joy of labour,” the tower and the roof of the City Hall – all of which are 4000K.
The vision for the lighting design was to create a well-balanced and appealing light environment that interacts with and accentuates the design and character of the square. We always adhere to a thorough design process and our own proven method, which helps us understand the function of light in each project. In this assignment, we focused on three lighting categories which, when combined, created a coherent composition of a varied light environment for the square.
”Speaking on behalf of Eskilstuna Municipality, we are very pleased with the square and how it is used today. Already, it is a better meeting place, where people stop rather than just pass by. During the hours of darkness, the lighting enhances the design elements that we wanted to emphasise. An attractive and popular square brings a feeling of security – and that is what we wanted to achieve with the renovation and the lighting design”.
Head of design, SE