The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801


West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

United States

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252

West 8 wins 1st prize Lighting Master Plan Helsinki

On 10 October 2012, West 8 – in association with Speirs + Major | Designers working with light – has been announced the winner of the Lighting Master Plan for the future urban development Kruunuvuorenranta in Helsinki. Our Luonnon Lyhdyt “Natural Lanterns” entry will share 1st prize with “Into the Light” of Team Bartenbach.

On the site of a former oil harbor, a new residential area with 10,000 dwellings will be constructed. The Lighting Master Plan is meant to give guidance to the development of Kruunuuorenranta by creating a functional lighting plan and by introducing an attractive nightscape seen from a distance. The area has a great potential for expressing its natural wealth. The proposed Master Plan takes benefit of this notion and strengthens the natural qualities in such a way that the neighborhood will derive its identity from that. Both the proposed landscape and illumination plan anticipate on the natural sources in terms of quality of darkness, use of local materials and site heritage. By emphasizing the natural scenery a strong sensation of being in Kruunuvuorenranta is created.

The majority of people using the site after dark on a day-to-day basis will be the people who live there. Artificial light must, first and foremost, be used to create a great place to live. The water’s surface provides a highly reflective foreground which, when fluid, will create a broken, animated reflection of the lit image of the waterfront – in effect almost doubling up the perceived quantity of light present when viewed across the water. Light will therefore be minimized and used sensitively to reveal gateways, selected heritage features and Neighborhood Lantern Pegs.

Two fundamental sources of light are considered – light from the sky and light created by people. Light from the sky is about grand scale, vast open space, an ever-changing, ephemeral light and a connection to nature. Light from the sky is relatively unpredictable and uncontrollable, but will be embraced and exploited through the strategic selection of materials.

Throughout the site, the reflectance of materials will be considered to optimize the lighting strategy – allowing both passive and active lighting (i.e. both the reflectance of surfaces and the amount of light cast upon them) to work in harmony to minimize energy use and create an appropriate balance of luminous and dark surfaces.

From the Jury Report: “The plan is detail-oriented and proposes that light should be used when appropriate, but only in small amounts. The end result is a beautiful whole, with the particular strength of focusing on the resident’s point of view. (…) The details are sensitive and inventive.”

Note to editors

For Background Information please see: West8, Speirs + Major and the official competition site.

Other competitors:

  • Bartenbach LichtLabor GmbH (Austria) (shared 1st prize)
  • BDP (UK)
  • Concepto (France)

The original assignment as prescribed in the Competition Program: “Kruunuvuorenranta will be a high-grade, marine residential area for approximately 11,000 inhabitants. (…) The purpose of the competition is to create an artistically oriented lighting plan for Kruunuvuorenranta that is visually, ecologically and technically sustainable and feasible.”

Members of the Jury:

  • Chairperson Hannu Penttilä, Deputy Mayor
  • Pekka Sauri, Deputy Mayor
  • Tuomas Rajajärvi, Department Chief, Helsinki City Planning Department
  • Raimo K. Saarinen, City Engineer, Helsinki Public Works Department
  • Seppo Ruohonen, Managing Director, Helsingin Energia
  • Riitta Jalkanen, Project Manager, Helsinki City Planning Department, Kruunuvuorenranta project
  • Jari Tirkkonen, Project Leader, Helsinki Economic and Planning Centre
  • Olli Markkanen, Unit Manager, Helsingin Energia
  • Juhani Sandström, Chief of Outdoor Lighting, Helsinki Public Works Department
  • Marjatta Uusitalo, Cityscape Architect, Building Control Department

As well as the following representatives of other parties:

  • Anne Bureau, Lighting Designer, representative of the Professional Lighting Designers’ Association (PLDA)
  • Vesa Honkonen, Architect
  • Marjut Kauppinen, Architect SAFA, representative of the Illuminating Engineering Society of Finland

West 8 is an award-winning international office for urban design and landscape architecture founded in 1987. Over the last 20 years West 8 has established itself as a leading practice with an international team of 70 architects, urban designers, landscape architects and industrial engineers. West 8 developed projects all over the world in places such as Copenhagen, London, Moscow, New York, Madrid, Toronto and Amsterdam. The office gained international recognition with projects such as Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo-Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), Chiswick Park in London (UK) and Expo ’02 in Yverdon-les-Bains (CH). Many of the projects are the result of groundbreaking entries in important international competitions. Recently won competitions include Toronto Waterfront in Toronto (CA), Governors Island in New York (USA) and Playa de Palma in Mallorca (ES).

Amongst the numerous awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture 2011, Mondriaan Fund (formerly BKVB),  the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin and the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design.

For more information: Public Relations, Winnie Poon, Tamara Kool & Jan Breukelman, +31 (0)10 – 485 58 01,,