Tuesday 24 May 2011


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In connection with the extensive renovation and modernisation of the now 100-year-old Copenhagen Central Station, two out of six platforms were extended to continue underneath the station itself.

The task was in this low-ceilinged dim area to create an attractive and inviting space in harmony with the large and light platform hall just outside and the huge station hall above. One of the most important elements to create this was the specially developed lighting.

The demands on the lighting were partly functional:
- Sufficient light compared to the daylight outside
- Anti-dazzle light for the train drivers
- Reasonable operating economy

In addition, the demands on the lighting were that:
- it had to fit in with the listed station building and be beautiful,
- it had to be pleasant for customers to be in, and
- in terms of experience, it had to offer variation.

In order to counteract the feeling of a narrow underground parking lot, the designers worked with indirect lighting in the form of reflective ceilings that were hung in lengths along the front edges of the platforms. These ceilings were lit from below with specially designed strip-light fittings for folded reflectors, directing the light precisely where it is wanted which is mostly along the front edges of the platforms and less so along the middle.

The ceilings are produced in perforated aluminium sheets behind which an acoustically dampening material is fitted. The reflector itself is made of folded and polished stainless steel.

The reflected light, which is relatively strong (150-250 lux), is about right in terms of the necessary platform lighting. The lighting effect in contrast to the black-painted background will also give the impression of a higher ceiling, and the train drivers avoid the signal-confusing dazzling effect when they drive into the area.

As a supplement, a number of narrow beam down-lights with "warm" light are positioned high up, directing light to certain areas in front of stairs, lifts and benches. In addition, the spots are used to create some nuances to the lighting, mimicking the experience of sun flecks and daylight, whereby the contrast to the light of the platform hall is reduced.

The ceiling fittings were tested during the process using a number of mock-ups to ensure optimum spreading of the light to avoid any dazzling effects and to create an overall harmonious design.

As a very special attraction, the sculptor Anita Jørgensen has produced a very extensive decoration for the location. Her art contributes to defining the new platform section and to offering customers a distinctive and irrational artistic experience on their journey. For the decoration of the platform ends, strip lights in different white nuances are included on one platform, and on the other, RGB LED lights have been fitted which change colour slowly using the whole spectrum in a calm and continuous cadence. The LED strip lights are imbedded into a panel wall, produced from the reverse sides of old copper sheets left over from a total renovation of the roofs which took place at the same time.

Design Public Arkitekter A/S in collaboration with Bartenbach LichtLabor GmbH

Public Arkitekter A/S