Aarhus Cathedral comes back to life with SGM

The iconic 12th century Domkirke, right in the heart of Aarhus, is shining again. Lighting Design agency Kollision specified SGM P-6 POI and I-2 POI fixtures with elliptical spread, to effectively increase the contrast and visibility of this impressive masterpiece, while respecting its characteristic architecture.

The Aarhus Cathedral, usually called Domkirke, has a long and remarkable story to tell.

Originally a magnificient Romanesque basilica inaugurated in the 12th Century, this iconic temple has been rebuilt and expanded several times during the last 800 years. Today's Domkirke is the result of a rebuilding from Gothic style between 1449 and 1500, inspired by the Hanseatic churches around the Baltic Sea.

Aarhus Domkirke is situated on the port side of a large central square, Store Torv. It is the longest and tallest church in Denmark, with a length of 93 metres and a height of 96 metres, with capacity for approx. 1200 people. The cathedral is frequently used for concerts, as well as normal religious services. Because of its plant, Aarhus Cathedral is a massive structure in relation to the neighbouring squares and surrounding city spaces. Because of its relevant height, it is a visible landmark from most of the dense streets of the inner city as well as from a distance.


Another great collaboration with SGM

Rune Nielsen, Partner at design office Kollision

Powerful, yet subtle presence

Kollision was hired by Aarhus Cathedral and The Municipality of Aarhus to develop a strategy for illuminating the cathedral. The idea was to create a lighting design providing the building with a natural, yet subtle presence in the city by the use of modern LED fixtures.

After a series of tests and design workshops together with SGM, all possible solutions and installation issues were addressed. A combination of the powerful P-6 POI and i-2 POI floodlights was selected, mounting elliptical filters for a better coverage. "This time we used the high quality SGM permanent outdoor fixtures, which are communicating with our software over large distances across the city space, and hereby covering the Cathedral in light from different positions", says Rune Nielsen, partner at Kollision office.

To avoid dramatic uplights, Kollision decided to approach the neighbours about installing light sources on the rooftops of their buildings. As a result, the cathedral is lit on the main facades facing the two adjacent squares, Store Torv and Bispetorv, plus an additional 360 degree coverage of the spire.

Both P-6 POI and i-2 POI fixtures are wirelessly controlled from one central position, by the use of Kollision's proprietary MAP software. The pixel mapping, multiple color modes, and adjustable color temperature control of SGM P-6 POI expanded the possibilities of the installation, while the compact i-2 POI luminaires delivered impressive long throws in a small form factor. Kollision's MAP Player facilitates a 3-dimensional lighting control of the cathedral with RGB mixing, which in the daily expression is used to keep the red brick wall warmly lit, while the copper roof lighting remains colder. At special events, this functionality can be used for a more colourful and dynamic illumination.

Kollision facilitated and coordinated the process between the stakeholders, driving the specification process and programming the installation in dialogue with Strøm Hansen, who carried out the installation. This permanently installed project is funded by NRGI's værdipulje, The Municipality of Aarhus, and Aarhus Cathedral.

Products used


Lighting Design: Kollision

Installation: Strøm Hansen

Pictures: Martin Schubert ( / Kollision

Control: Kollision's MAP Player

Funding: NRGI's værdipulje, Aarhus Kommune, Aarhus Domkirke

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