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Liljevalchs Kunsthalle, Stockholm: art presented in perfect light, Stockholm, Sweden

Art machine and light sculpture

Flexible museum lighting for the display of art

The Liljevalchs+ extension to the historical municipal art gallery in Stockholm will stir the emotions of any visitor. With flexible spaces and modern technology it offers optimal conditions for the display of art – and at the same time exudes a strong sculptural presence.

For over 100 years, Liljevalchs Kunsthalle has been the leading exhibition venue for contemporary art in Stockholm. Its spring salon has a permanent place in the cultural calendar of the city, and the building designed by architect Carl Bergsten in 1916 is considered to be a breakthrough of modern architecture in Sweden. Standards were thus high when, following a competition, the Gert Wingårdh architectural offices were commissioned with the design and construction of an extension in 2013. State of the art presentation facilities, security and air-conditioning combine to emphasise its credentials in the worldwide exchange and trade of art exhibitions.

Liljevalchs Kunsthalle, Stockholm: art presented in perfect light

Wingårdh is one of the most successful Swedish architects. The 70-year-old is also familiar to a wide audience through his TV appearances in the series "Husdrömmar" about private builders. For the Kunsthalle, he designed a compact cuboid of concrete in close collaboration with the glass artist Ingegerd Råman. Like a jagged crown, the roof bears 166 chimney-like light shafts arranged in a square grid. Only a few window openings break through the facade, which is structured by 6860 circular glass elements that are reminiscent of the bottoms of clear bottles and glitter in the Nordic light.

Liljevalchs Kunsthalle, Stockholm: art presented in perfect light

The feeling of space in the different heights of the daylight halls below the wide concrete grid is spectacular. The sophisticated ceiling geometry controls and diffuses the daylight. A track infrastructure recessed flush into the sides of the light shafts are equipped with spotlights, floodlights and wallwashers for illuminating the artworks. In this way, the building achieves the balancing act of providing a neutral background for the art and simultaneously remaining perceptible and present.

The precisely calculated, upward tapering form of the light shafts screens out direct sunlight. Track sections in flush recessed profiles are equipped with Parscan spotlights for general lighting and Eclipse spotlights for displaying the exhibitions.

Liljevalchs Kunsthalle, Stockholm: art presented in perfect light
Liljevalchs Kunsthalle, Stockholm: art presented in perfect light

Complete concentration on art: no window or door openings interrupt the wall surfaces, and entrances are positioned at the corners of the room. On the other hand, the ceiling construction opens up to the sky and creates modulated, diffuse and atmospheric light in the space.

The new building provides two skylight halls with different room heights: this creates optimal presentation environments for both small and large-format exhibits.

Eclipse spotlights form the Kunsthalle's new pool of luminaires. The lighting tools can be flexibly adapted to a wide variety of lighting tasks with their interchangeable lenses, accessories and on-board dimming.

Liljevalchs Kunsthalle, Stockholm: art presented in perfect light
Liljevalchs Kunsthalle, Stockholm: art presented in perfect light

Luminaires used

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