photo / kuva: Touho Häkkinen
Jyväskylä is known both at home and abroad as a celebrated City of Light. This means that Jyväskylä has been among the first to grasp the significance of aesthetic and avant-garde urban illumination in city planning. The basic task of lighting is to provide citizens with a feeling of safety and assist them in going about their lives, but well-designed, aesthetically pleasing lighting also generates an image boost for the cityscape and creates, for example, the necessary preconditions for a whole gamut of business activities and events.
For more than 20 years Jyväskylä has invested heavily in quality urban illumination by taking account of lighting considerations in city planning projects. In addition, work on behalf of illumination is also conducted, for instance, by providing guidance to actors in different sectors, by engaging in and providing training, by reducing light pollution, by saving energy and by bringing a positive feeling to the city in the form of permanent illuminated locations as well as temporary light installations and events. Jyväskylä is Finland’s only city to possess a lighting coordinator.
Here are Jyväskylä lighting coordinator Elisa Hillgen’s lighting tips for visitors to Jyväskylä:
This is one of the city’s latest permanent illuminated locations. The lighting was designed by Ari Tiilikainen of LITE Designs Oy. Ylistö bridge is used constantly by both cyclists and pedestrians and links the Mattilanniemi and Ylistönmäki areas of the city. The new lighting was completed in the autumn of 2017 and received an enthusiastic reception during the City of Light event. The lighting is dynamic and programmable, which means changes of colour can be made to suit different special occasions and events.
This location features in many tourist brochures and is one of Jyväskylä’s best known sights. Illumination of the bridge was designed by Roope Siiroinen of Valoa Design Oy. The lighting is an imposing combination of golden shades and cool blue. The whole bridge with its illumination creates a marvellous landscape over Lake Jyväsjärvi and counts as a firm favourite with photographers.
This superb location was completed in 2017. P-Pergamentti is the new parking facility in the emerging Kangas area of the city. The artwork and lights on the building’s façade were designed by artists Jaakko Niemelä and Helena Hietanen. Parking halls are generally considered stark and ugly but this whole building is breathtaking. The lighting is packed with life and can also be programmed according to situation.
In this atmospheric park lighting brings an extra dimension to both the area and the playground equipment. The pirate ship is surrounded by shimmering water, the stone figures are illuminated in a fascinating manner amongst the conifers. On dark evenings the illumination means the park can be used for a longer time and in Jyväskylä’s many playgrounds the extra opportunities offered by light have been explored in a number of interesting ways.
In Jyväskylä a concerted effort is made to illuminate public works of art. Good examples of these are Kimmo Schroderus’s Hyöky (‘Surge’) on the University of Jyväskylä’s Ylistönrinne campus, Pero Luostarinen’s Yliopistoportti (‘University gate’) in Schildt Square and Markku Hakuri’s Suuri Kompassi (‘Big compass’) in the harbour.
This year’s City of Light event, the thirteenth of its kind, just has to be experienced! In the course of three days different light installations and light-themed programmes pop up all over the city. The event provides a showcase for dozens of light artworks by professional artists, partners and educational institutions, for example. Last year the event attracted roughly 100 000 people and enjoyed tremendous visibility both in Finland and internationally. The dates of this year’s event are 27.-29.9.2018.
Illuminated locations on map: http://www2.jkl.fi/teemakartat/valonkaupunki/valokartta.html
Elisa Hillgen is a lighting branch entrepreneur from Mikkeli whose background includes both consumer and professional lighting projects extending over more than ten years. She has served as the City of Jyväskylä’s lighting coordinator since January 2017. Elisa’s chief focuses of interest in the lighting branch are light art located in the urban environment, social projects and responsible planning aimed, for instance, at reducing light pollution. Elisa lives in Mikkeli with her husband and dog.
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