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Mariatorget in Stockholm has inviting pedestrian areas lined with trees, a fountain, a playground, a boule court and statues. However, it felt less safe at night. The vision therefore was to use lighting design to create a pleasant and safe experience with a strong atmosphere for all hours of the day. Better lighting would also help reduce criminal activity in the park at night.

Inspiration for the lighting design came from from the sunlight filtering through the leafy trees, which gives an atmospheric, shimmering light in the crowns of the trees and on the ground. The same effect is created with spotlights through the trees onto the ground. During the winter months the leafy shadows on the ground are replaced with the organic shapes reflecting the naked branches.

The central walkway is lit with a glowing luminaire that gives a soft and pleasant light on the ground and on people’s faces – which increases the feeling of safety. The statues are lit with a very thin LED-spotlight that accentuates the details in the oxidised copper.

The new lighting design also provides clear view through the entire park, which also increases the feeling of safety.

Throughout the design process Citizen interaction was implemented. The public was invited to information meetings where they could contribute with ideas and experience as well as vote for which luminaires to use. This strategy engages the citizens thus increasing the feeling of security and creating “ambassadors” for the park.

Category: Architectural lighting design
Type of project: Urban planning
Commission: Park lighting
Client: The City Council of Stockholm
Lighting design: Kai Piippo, Janica Wiklander, Alexander Cederroth
Status:Completed 2010