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Ahvenisto Olympic Pool Light Art, Hämeenlinna, Finland

Issue 82 December / January : Architectural : Outdoor Lighting

A venue of the 1952 summer Olympics, Ahvenisto swimming pool in the city of Hämeenlinna, Finland, has been given a facelift with the help of a new light art piece.



Protected by Finland’s National Board of Antiquities, the swimming pool’s service building façade now features a light art installation from WhiteNight that integrates the building’s history and features silhouettes of human figures on the wall – all real people form photographs taken in 1952. The façade has two types of figures – the swimmer, which plays the biggest role and gives out a moving shadow throughout the day as if the swimmer is jumping into the pool.

Then other figures - runner, shooter, show jumper and fencer - are made from 173 lamellas and are seen in their entirety when viewed from a particular angle, but then hidden when looking at them straight on. The direct sunlight brings out the shadows of the lamellas and creates a constantly changing image. A cloudy sky hides the figures when viewing them from the front and direct sunlight gives out clear shadows and creates movement on the figures.

During the evening, the yellow / orange facade is lit from below giving the figures a different feel and look again compared to their daylight appearance.


Movement in the Shadows
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