Snaking “rivers” of embedded lighting flow through the alleyways of a development in Oslo in the Delta installation by local studio Void, which incorporates motion-detecting sensors to create ripples of illumination as people walk past.
Located in an area of Tullinløkka currently being developed by real estate company Entra, Delta was created to be both a light sculpture and a wayfinding device that would encourage visitors to explore the new neighbourhood.
Running through cobbled alleyways, the lighting strips converge at a concrete “waterfall” in the centre of the site, which traverses a level change via a series of curved steps and a ramp informed by the smooth rocks of Norway’s coastline.
This provides wheelchair access through the neighbourhood, as well as a stepped seating space for impromptu gatherings and events.
“The main goal was to attract people into the narrow lanes and the courtyard of the quarter and to explore and discover what the inner area has to offer in terms of restaurants and nightlife,” Void CEO Mikkel Lehne told Dezeen.
“The lights lead the public into the space, help them find their way through, as well as bringing a sense of warmth and safety,” he added.
To create Delta, aluminium profiles lined with acrylic glass were set flush with the paving and concrete, into which flexible, waterproof LED strips were then inserted.
Each four-centimetre-long segment of the lighting strips is individually controllable in terms of both motion and colour, and is connected to 24 motion-sensing cameras that detect the presence of visitors in order to create “waves” of light.
While ordinarily the lights are intended to create an “unobtrusive backdrop” of warm white, they can also be programmed for special events, such as in a light show choreographed by artists Bendik Baksaas, Kristoffer Eikrem and Fredrik Høyer to mark the installation’s opening.
“The general setting is a warm white light that interacts with the public as they move through and around the quarter,” Lehne said.
“The lights are full colour, and can be changed and animated to countless different settings – during Pride Month, for instance, a full rainbow flows through the installation,” he added.
“The idea is part of our philosophy at Void – to engage with people’s movement and presence and let our installations be influenced by them.”
Delta was recently shortlisted in the architectural lighting design category of Dezeen Awards 2023.
Other shortlisted projects include the media facade of the Novartis Pavilion in Basel by iart, and the interiors of the Fabrique des Lumières Amsterdam by D/Dock.
The photography is by Einar Aslaksen.