A timeless interpretation of heritage lighting in a prestigious environment.

The new lighting strategy for Kungsträdgården highlights the cultural and historical value of the park. The luminaires, made up of two concentric cylinders, are specifically designed for the site and are connected to a two-tier control system, allowing the electric light to intertwine with the natural light throughout the day.

Client : City of Stockholm

Supplier : Ateljé lyktan

Photographer : Kai Piippo

Completion year : 2020

Regognitions : IALD Award of Excellence, 2021

Historic value

Kungsträdgården is one of the oldest remaining public parks in the city of Stockholm, dating back to the 1700s. Originally reserved for the private use of the royal family, it is now a beloved public space with a variety of events taking place throughout the year.

The former lighting of the tree lined main alleys consisted of poles with opal globes arranged in groups of five. The unshielded luminaires had reached their technical lifetime and were poor from many aspects. They were a source of glare and light pollution, had a dated look not in line with the park and were always covered in dirt, running down the globes, caught in the sticky sap from the linden trees. Stockholm city wanted to improve the sustainability and design of the existing solution with better light levels and a contemporary look worthy of the prestigious site. The project started in 2010 and the installation was finalized in 2020. Spanning over a decade, the process became a careful prototyping and on-site testing.

New lighting solution

The new lighting strategy replaced the old poles and fixtures with new park luminaires specifically designed for Kungsträdgården. The lanterns are a contemporary interpretation of a historic park luminaire with a strong connection to the site. Made up of two concentric cylinders in brass finish, the luminaires have an innovative two-step control system. The inner cylinder is illuminated by an uplight module with a warm light source and is switched on during the long twilight of the Nordic countries, “the blue hour”, giving the lanterns a warm visual presence during the last moments of daylight. The primary light source, providing general lighting to the pathways, rather than the tree canopies, slowly dims up during the following 30 minutes until it reaches the required level. This gradual lighting of the luminaires intertwines the electric and natural light with the Nordic characteristics of a soft bridge from light to dark.

Upgrading to LED from a mix of old mercury and metal halide light sources in the old luminaires the power and number of light fittings could be reduced. This resulted in a 70% reduction in overall energy consumption.

The project was carried out in close co-operation with the city of Stockholm from concept to commissioning. The process included development and production of several functional prototypes of the proposed luminaire. The prototypes were assessed on site, to ensure their suitability, technically as well as aesthetically, in their intended environment. The mock-up installations were assessed on several occasions in close collaboration with the client, built heritage experts and the luminaire manufacturer. The design of both the new luminaires and the poles are carefully detailed to perfectly complement the historically sensitive site with a distinguished festiveness.

Blends into the environment

The finalized project is a timeless interpretation of heritage lighting in a prestigious environment. The innovative two-tier approach to the control of the lighting system adds subtle dynamics to a simple yet ambitious lighting scheme.




Kai Piippo

Head of design, SE

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