Selmas Park

Gothenburg, Sweden

The rapidly grow­ing suburb of Backa in Gothen­burg is one of the most impor­tant devel­op­ment areas in the city. Selmas Park is a new green hub there for leisure activ­i­ties, meet­ing people and recre­ation. The light­ing for this green­space, which has a highly varied design and is aimed at both young and old, uses lumi­naires from the Olivio Sis­tema design line.

Backa’s new urban con­cept com­bines modern houses with exist­ing build­ings erected in Sweden during the Mil­lion Pro­gramme era of the 1960s. The draft for Selmas Park by the land­scape archi­tects’ bureau ÅWL Arkitek­ter focussed on social sus­tain­abil­ity and inte­gra­tion. The goal was to create a park land­scape with a strong iden­tity, in which cit­i­zens can con­nect with one another.

It is Backa’s his­tory as a garden suburb, which inspires the new Selmas Park. In the 19th cen­tury, a series of farm­yards arose here and Backa became the garden of Gothenburg’s local econ­omy, sup­ply­ing res­i­dents with fruit, veg­eta­bles and flow­ers. But what about the safety con­cept for a new green­space designed for recre­ational use? ​“The chal­lenge was to pro­vide small, inti­mate places where the var­i­ous users can inter­act with­out this result­ing in an unsafe envi­ron­ment,” explains Land­scape Archi­tect Maja Fors­berg, who was respon­si­ble for the project at ÅWL Archi­tects. Together with light design­ers from Light Bureau, a light­ing con­cept was devel­oped that increases the feel­ing of safety and sup­ports the location’s key focus – play and leisure activ­i­ties.

The major­ity of the park land­scape is illu­mi­nated using white LED light, which ensures better recog­ni­tion of colours and hence of faces. Coloured light pro­vides accent light­ing for the entrance area and play­ground. As well as increas­ing the attrac­tive­ness of the site, it is designed to encour­age vis­i­tors to par­take in activ­i­ties.

The main path through the park is illu­mi­nated using Olivio lumi­naires on low poles. The illu­mi­nated path­ways indi­cate their course with­out caus­ing exces­sive scat­ter light, thereby pro­vid­ing ori­en­ta­tion during dark­ness. Areas for leisure activ­i­ties are lit using Olivio lumi­naires on higher poles to attain wider and more uni­form illu­mi­na­tion of these spaces while addi­tional Olivio gobo spots are on hand to pro­vide artis­tic light pro­jec­tions. Tar­geted light set­tings of trees around the main square cre­ates an atmos­pheric ambi­ence – making for a sus­tain­able and safe loca­tion bristling with life and action.

architect: ÅWL Arkitekter / Maja Forsberg

lighting designer: Light Bureau

photographer: Felix Gerlach

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