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A sculpture, bridge and exhibition space: ERCO LED lighting tools in Bjarke Ingel's spectacular new museum building 'The Twist'

The architects from BIG have constructed a connection spanning the Randselva river in the Norwegian sculpture park Kistefos in the form of an artistically twisted gallery building. The construction itself, clad in anodised aluminium sheet, adopts the mode of a sculpture. The interior of the "The Twist" consists of exhibition areas for alternating works of art, flexibly illuminated in a contemporary way with Parscan spotlights and lens wallwashers from ERCO.

Around one hour's drive from Oslo, on an idyllic location with wooded hills and a historic pulp mill on the River Randselva, the businessman and art collector Christen Sveaas opened the Kistefos sculpture park in 1999. The site is now considered to be the most important sculpture park in Scandinavia and comprises 46 works by Norwegian and international artists, including Tony Cragg, Olafur Eliasson and Anish Kapoor. The new building "The Twist", inaugurated in September 2019 and designed by BIG Bjarke Ingels Group architects, supplements the location with an architecturally unusual exhibition space. The 60-metre wide constructive bar that rotates through its central axis by 90 degrees bridges the gap between the lower south bank and the higher north bank of the river. It also serves as a gallery building with three exhibition areas on around 1,000 square metres: a room completely glazed on one side with a panoramic view into the landscape, a narrow, nine metre high room completely devoid of daylight, and the actual "Twist" that connects the two areas. In this twisted central section, wall is transformed into floor or ceiling plane and vice versa, and the wide fenestrated strip from the North Gallery is continued here as a narrowly tapering skylight.

Parscan spotlights and lens wallwashers from ERCO: Ideal lighting tools for architecture and art

Within the complex construction the architects intended to create an impression of space that was as homogeneous as possible, allowing no superfluous detail to distract from the concentration on art. Walls, ceilings and floors are thus coated in a uniform white. All technology is concealed for visitors behind a wall and ceiling cladding of white wooden slats, which is also a reference to typical Norwegian construction methods. A lighting installation consisting of white Parscan lens wallwashers and spotlights was installed on white track in precisely milled sections within this cladding, appearing as an integral component of the interior. The Parscan spotlights can be equipped with different optics and can thus be flexibly adapted to the specific artworks of the temporary exhibitions. The Parscan lens wallwashers on the other hand were mounted to extra-short sections of track - "It's how we make sure they're never moved into the wrong position," explains lighting designer Thea Collett from Light Bureau Norway. In combination with the ceiling-integrated, functional general lighting of the museum, the ERCO LED lighting tools illuminate the spaces and the objects and paintings they accommodate harmoniously and almost completely evenly - with only little directional light targeted onto the exhibits themselves. "Our holistic approach to the lighting concept accounts for the spectacular architecture, the art it displays and the people involved to an equal extent", explains Morten Jensen, Country Manager at Light Bureau Norway. "We create very well-lit exhibition spaces by selecting a 4000K neutral white light colour. By placing the focus on wallwashing we achieve a lighting effect that is as uniform as possible and that optimally emphasises the architecture. Carefully supplemented and aligned spotlights bring the very best out of the textures, shapes and colours of the exhibits."

The decision to install Parscan spotlights and lens wallwashers for the new museum was taken not only because of their precise and flexible lighting technology which places architecture and art at the centre of attention - their very good glare control also ensures a high level of visual comfort for visitors. In addition, several sizes are available, also with high lumen packages of 2779lm, as needed for example for vertically illuminating the nine metre-high southern gallery. The ERCO products also managed to win over the lighting designers and architects of The Twist from an aesthetic point of view: the minimalist design with its simple cylindrical form means that the different types of luminaires within the Parscan range adopt a highly uniform, discreet appearance in the spectacular exhibition spaces.

Project data

Client: Kistefos Museum
Architecture: BIG Bjarke Ingels Group, Copenhagen/ Denmark
(Partner in charge: Bjarke Ingels, David Zahle; head of project: Eva Seo-Andersen; project architect: Mikkel Marcker Stubgaard)
Lighting design: Light Bureau, part of AFRY, Oslo / Norway (former ÅF Lighting)
Electrical Planning: Rambøl1/ Strøm-Hansen
Interior Design/Exhibition Design: Guy Robertsen
Photography: Tomasz Majewski, Oslo / Norway

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About ERCO

The ERCO Light Factory in Lüdenscheid is a leading international specialist in architectural lighting using LED technology. The family business, founded in 1934, now operates as a global player with over 60 subsidiaries, branches and agencies in over 40 countries worldwide. Since 2015 ERCO's portfolio has been 100% LED. Inspired by "light digital" as its leitmotif, ERCO in Lüdenscheid develops, designs and produces digital luminaires with focus on photometrics, electronics and design. Working closely with architects, lighting designers and engineers, ERCO develops lighting tools used primarily for applications in the following fields: Work, Shop, Culture, Community, Hospitality, Living, Public and Contemplation. ERCO understands digital light as the fourth dimension of architecture - providing highly precise and efficient lighting solutions to support creative designers in turning their visions into reality.
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