Klostergatan is a busy passageway nestled in the heart of Uppsala's city center. It is a small street with two entrances and contains a long frontage for bicycles to park, which makes it feel cramped and unsafe.
Notably, Klostergatan serves as an entrance to the children’s section of the Uppsala City Library. To enhance its appeal and functionality, artworks have been thoughtfully integrated into the streetscape, and they are illuminated as part of the same artistic endeavor. The artists Kolbeinn Karlsson and Eva Larsson, are two of a total of five artists who have adorned the entire length of Klostergatan, now fondly referred to as the ALMA street.
Client : Uppsala Kommun
Completion year : 2022
Photographer : Tomasz Majewski
Above: Eva Karlsson’s bronze sculpture of two children who have made a discovery. From the sculpture a trail leads into the courtyard of the children’s library.
Left: Kolbeinn Karlsson’s artwork, ‘In the moonlight we dance with the monsters’.
The project was initiated through Light Bureau’s framework agreement with Uppsala municipality. The city of Uppsala singled out Klostergatan as a problematic street during their joint evening walks with the police and various municipal departments, aimed at mapping out unsafe areas in the city center.
The lighting installation is designed with the intention that the lighting remains dynamic and does not present a uniform appearance to visitors upon multiple visits. The concept for Klostergatan revolves around a central notion where the middle section represents a starry sky, surrounded by planets. As the stars illuminate in varying patterns, the street’s color transforms in harmony with the passage of time and the changing seasons.
The concept was collaboratively developed together with representatives from Uppsala Municipality and our team at Light Bureau, utilizing a Design Studio approach. This method fosters constructive engagement with concepts by encouraging active participation from all stakeholders. Design Studio sessions involve continuous sketching and presentations among team members. The most recent proposal presented is still undergoing several iterations with input from all parties involved. This iterative process allows for broad ideas to be funneled down to a joint proposal, and in a way everyone participate.
Light Bureau has assumed full responsibility for the lighting aspect of the project, spanning from the initial concept stage to the creation of detailed drawings and overseeing construction management. This undertaking has been carried out in a tightly knit partnership with the client, artist curate and all the suppliers. Every programming choice and product selection has been made with the intention of delivering a durable and sustainable lighting installation, ensuring that the street enjoys a long-lasting impact.
Senior Lighting Designer, SE