How does one design illumination in a space of untouched wilderness? Carefully, very carefully…
Located in the very heart of the Triglav National Park, the Nordic Sports Centre Planica, with all its unavoidable artificial light, could all too easily have become an aggressive intrusion into the pristine Alpine valley. The unique space of Slovenian natural heritage called for a light touch and carefully planned intervention. This approach, which marks all of the project buildings, is carried by minimal lines of illumination and ambientally lit interiors, which barely extend into the exterior.
The lighting design project had to simultaneously comply with two conflicting directives. On the one side, the minimal illumination levels for public buildings, on the other, the regulations pertaining to limitations of light pollution. The characteristic stoke of both the ski-jumping venues and all the other above-ground buildings, is a refined use of recessed linear illumination, which subtly emphasizes the contours of their silhouettes, without polluting the surrounding areas with excessive reflected light.
The masses, textures and voids of architecture only achieve their true character when interacting with light.
Hidden below ground, the summer training spaces for Nordic skiing, by means of their size and function, become a wholly separate world – one with its own climate and own light. The main goal of light design was achieving the high illumination level requirements of sport venues, while maintaining a suitable level of comfort for the users. The direct and indirect glare produced by the bare concrete walls and artificial snow, could easily have led to conditions that would produce visual stress and discomfort for the eye.
Photo: Miran Kambič