The Citizen House in Odense, Denmark is the result of a participatory process actively involving inhabitants in the creation of a dynamic and lively center. Thanks to a gold finish and the use of light, the building has become an attractive meeting point.
Providing space for citizens
The building needed to be open, welcoming, and also recognizable. The designers therefore decided to limit changes to the existing façade, simply giving it a new gold finish – brought alive with light.
During the day, the golden façade designed by AI Architects & Engineers glows under natural light, and at night it is illuminated by LED recessed lights made with special eW Graze QLX Powercore luminaires.
“We wanted to create a high-performance urban hub – something that people would love and remember,” said Tomas Snog, Architect. “All we did was to provide space and light.”
AI Architects & Engineers developed the project with the support of technicians at Signify and its value-added partner Dalgsgaard. Designing the façade together with its lighting was a particularly difficult adventure, as engaging as it was enjoyable. It required the development of a large, 5-meter high model that we used to verify how the lights would actually work in reality. A mistake with the lighting would have compromised a large part of the project, so the designers focused maximum effort on this.
Point of reference and orientation
During the day, the golden façade glows under natural light, and at night it is illuminated by LED recessed lights made with special eW Graze QLX Powercore luminaires. The drama of the golden exterior is matched internally by a large empty space whose main point of interest is a sculptural stair known as the “Harry Potter Staircase”. It is a point of reference and orientation for anyone moving through the Citizen House. The selected lighting system offers a broad spectrum of configurations of intensity and color. However, the architects preferred not to fully exploit this possibility, except on a few special occasions. It should be clear that the building was not designed to be observed from outside, but to be used from inside.
Social and urban impact
The architecture of the “Bogernes Hus” is designed for its users – thanks to the use of gold, light and, most importantly, citizens’ involvement in defining the concept. This is demonstrated by its success with the public and a wealth of positive feedback.
Architectural integration of light
The warm white lights are housed in gold-colored aluminum bars that are an integral part of the architectural design. Using integrated LEDs made it possible to obtain a continuous, smooth, and uniform surface: a stage set for life inside the building.
Balancing esthetics, running costs, and maintenance
The lighting system brings the building to life and guarantees optimum performance in terms of visual effects, running costs, and maintenance. According to architect Thomas Snog, “this is perhaps the secret to its success.”