Winner of Tartu Cathedral lighting design competition announced

Ensemble, an international team of lighting designers, has been announced as the winner of the competition to design the new lighting system for Tartu Cathedral. The winning design is set to be installled in 2024.

Ensemble submitted a concept entitled "Dawn and Dusk" to the competition. The authors' design is inspired by the richness of Nordic skylight shades and the changing seasons, as well as the light and shadows in the cathedral's architecture.

"Although in the legend, Dawn and Dusk only meet for four weeks once a year, the lighting solution celebrates their love every day, while adapting to the changing seasons and valuing both the light and dark times in nature equally," said the designers.

Ensemble are a group of professional lighting designers who came together especially for the Tartu Cathedral competition. The team consists of Fiorenzo Namèche (Light to Light, Belgium), Alfred Sa' (Nur L+D, Spain) and Chiara Carucci (Chiara Carucci Lighting Design, Sweden).

"The winning design offers the dynamic interplay of light and shadows instead of a classic static lighting solution, allowing the old walls to breathe in rhythm with nature," said artist and jury member Elo Liiv.

"I am especially pleased that the entire lighting solution avoids light pollution and takes into account not only human well-being but also the preservation of Toomemägi's nocturnal fauna," Liiv said.

The competition to design the lighting for Tartu Cathedral Church involved two rounds. In the first round, the jury assessed a total of 19 portfolios, which were submitted, selecting the best three.

"The winning work is further enhanced by an immersive layer that, through the shadows it creates, allows each visitor to be part of the artwork, to be the creator. In addition to the personal connection, it also creates a strong link with the shadows of the past that have left their mark on the cathedral over the centuries," said Mariann Raisma, chair of the jury and director of the University of Tartu Museum.

In addition to Elo Liivi and Mariann Raisma, the jury also included Kati Ilves, artistic director of the Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture, Heiki Pagel, head of procurement and development at the University of Tartu's, lighting designer Eva Tallo and Anna-Liisa Unt, landscape architect at the Tartu City Government's spatial planning department.

First prize in the competition was €8,000, with the second and third-placed entries also receiving €6,000 each. The winning entry will be awarded a contract worth €25,000 to create the lighting design for the cathedral.

Creating the lighting solution for Tartu Cathedral is a part of "Toomemägi Revisited," a project which features in the main program of Tartu 2024 European Capital of Culture.

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Editor: Michael Cole

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