Recycle Station Light Tunnel
in Copenhagen by Gunver Hansen Studio

In Copenhagen a 50-meter long tunnel is turned from dark and unwelcome into a dynamic play of coloured light, merged in a symbiosis with painting.

Recycle Station Light Tunnel

The Light Tunnel at the Recycling Station combines graffiti with LED lighting in the tunnel. The art installation lifts the experience (a duty visit to the Recycle Station) to an unexpected experience for Customers, coming to load off Waste for recycling in the centre of Copenhagen.


“The objective was to transform a dull, grey entrance to an experience beyond the expected and to show that ARC is a part of the city by, besides taking care of the Citizens Waste, also contributing to urban life. For an example by making an entrance that is artistic, interesting and immediately appealing to Citizens of Copenhagen by giving them an unexpected experience when visiting our Recycle Station,” says Project Manager Susanne Felland from ARC – Amager Ressource Center.


It is the Lighting Designers at Gunver Hansen Studio, who has transformed the tunnel-painting with coloured light settings, in a world of rhythm and architectural spatial experiences, and the dynamic coloured light scenes makes the entire image approach like a video experience.

All lighting scenes are put together into a long sequence of 20 minutes running in the loop throughout the daytime, which is recycling station opening hours. Obviously the light will have the largest effect during the winter where days are short and darkness reigns in Scandinavia.


“We have elucidated the tunnel walls with 48 Traxon RGB LED spotlights mounted on brackets hidden in the ceiling concrete beams. The spotlights are connected to a light control that can be programmed in the light scenes, and wherein each beam may be dimmed separately with respect to brightness and colour”, Gunver Hansen says.


A vibrating ‘Gesamtkunstwerk’ of light art and painting

This scenographic lighting, were previously only available on large theatres and music scenes, but developments in LED technology has made it possible to expand to outdoor venues with small brightly coloured spotlights and small suitable lighting control system.

“The coloured light transforms the image motifs, for example, will clouds in the white light, disappear in the red light and emerge again as graphic drawings in the green light. We have created a wide range of lighting scenes, each of which are named after their idea and story. Some light scenes are inspired by the architecture of the large characteristic space. Tunnel elongated shape invites you to let light play in the waves of colours that come rolling along in space, such as in scenes like ‘Sunrise, Sunset’ and Rainbow, search rainbow”, Gunver Hansen says.


The large room can also be divided into smaller sections, as we do in the ‘Search, still colour frames. Or it can be moved across, as we do in ‘Still colour side by side’, where one entire side of the room has one colour, while the other side has a different colour and the colours change from side to side.


“Some light scenes we go into the content of the painting with the many designs, where the light focuses and highlights the individual themes such as: human life, garbage, graffiti, architecture. The Lighting tunnel demonstrates, that ARC is doing our bit to ensure sustainable urban life in the city of Copenhagen by in itself being exactly that”, says Susanne Felland.

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