Author:
Agentuur Light To Light

The Lighting Artwork of the Cathedral

On the 800th anniversary of the first mention of the Tartu Cathedral, we will open an extraordinary lighting artwork that will revive Toomemägi as a unique and attractive destination.

The new lighting solution allows both residents of Tartu and visitors from further afield to enjoy the beauty of Toomemägi and to explore the ruins of the 800-year-old Tartu Cathedral at night as well. The lighting artwork invites visitors to decipher cultural heritage in a new light, literally.

The lighting artwork is created by internationally recognised lighting designers

To find an artistic lighting solution, an international idea competition was announced in 2023. It was won by Light To Light, a Belgian lighting design agency with strong pan-European experience, represented by Fiorenzo Namèche, in collaboration with lighting designers Chiara Carucci (Italy) and Alfred Sà (Spain). The designed lighting artwork 'Koit ja Hämarik' (Dawn and Dusk) is inspired by Fr. R. Faehlmann's legend of the same name and connects Nordic folklore with modern technology. The lighting solution is economical and dynamic; it changes during the night and relates to the surrounding natural environment as well as the residents of the area in a fresh way.

"The winning work offers a dynamic play of light and shadow instead of a classic static lighting solution, which makes the old walls breathe in the rhythm of nature. We are particularly pleased that the entire lighting solution avoids light pollution and takes into consideration not only the wellbeing of people but also the preservation of the diversity of Toomemägi's nocturnal fauna."

artist Elo Liiv

The Mystical Beauty of Toomemägi

 

As a result of the project, the visually attractive Cathedral is an inspiring destination for all the people of Tartu and it encourages cultural heritage to be interpreted in a new light, literally. 'Toomemägi Revisited' encourages the urban space to be developed in an innovative, environmentally conscious and creative way. This way, we can experience the mystical beauty of Toomemägi in a completely new way in the future.

To preserve Toomemägi's special environment, lighting designers have approached light as a resource that should not be wasted. If the surrounding environment is dark enough, even low light can have a significant effect. The lighting of the Cathedral starts at sunset and changes five times during the night. During the project, the experts help us observe the effect of the lighting artwork on the birds and bats living on Toomemägi as well.

 

Toomemägi Revisited

 

The lighting artwork of the Tartu Cathedral is part of the project 'Toomemägi Revisited' within the main programme of the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024, bringing the historical heart of Tartu to life with the help of light, culture and science. Toomemägi's regional characteristics have developed over the centuries. In the Middle Ages, the heart of the city was located here. The University of Tartu, situated nearby, has been a symbol of both Tartu and Estonia for four centuries. Today, Toomemägi is a quiet park in the city centre of Tartu; however, many more people could take part in the exciting story of this place. Let us open the rich cultural and scientific heritage of Tartu and its people in a modern way and bring life to the hill again! Come and see for yourself that Toomemägi is worth discovering – in the daytime as well as in the evening.

The completion of the lighting artwork is supported by the city of Tartu, the University of Tartu, SA Tartu 2024 and the National Heritage Board.

 

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Project team

Lighting Artwork Designers: Lighting design agency Light To Light from Belgium, represented by Fiorenzo Namèche, in collaboration with lighting designers Chiara Carucci (Itaalia) ja Alfred Sà (Hispaania)

Jury: Elo Liiv, Heiki Pagel, Mariann Raisma, Eva Tallo, Kati Torp, Anna-Liisa Unt

Construction: PVH Ehitus OÜ, Electric Works OÜ

Electrical design: MicroWatt OÜ

Project manager: Karoliina Kalda

Communication: Katrin Tegova

Team: Arvo Avi, Jaanika Anderson, Kadri Kaljurand, Maria Kullamägi, Külli Lupkin, Tanel Nõmmik, Ilona Piirimägi.

Winner of the Tartu Cathedral lighting design competition announced

Toomemägi Revisited on the Tartu 2024 homepage