Rainbow walkway adds colour to Danish art museum

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The roof of the ARoS art museum in Aarhus, Denmark, has been fitted with a spectacular multi-coloured circular walkway entitled ‘Your rainbow panorama’.

Designed by artist  Olafur Eliasson, the  rainbow ring is located at a height of 50 metres and offers a 360° view of the harbour town.

For the installation to be visible also at night, Eliasson called on Zumtobel, his long-term lighting partner. A specially developed lighting solution – incorporating 116 recessed uplights – was installed along the inner periphery of the ring, which transforms the white ceiling into a source of light.

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Commenting on the design concept, Eliasson said: “Your rainbow panorama enters into a dialogue with the existing architecture and reinforces what is assured beforehand, that is to say the view of the city.

“I have created a space which virtually erases the boundaries between inside and outside – where people become a little uncertain as to whether they have stepped into a work or into a part of the museum. This uncertainty is important to me, as it encourages people to think and sense beyond the limits within which they are accustomed to moving.”

The installation is the last piece of the jigsaw for the ARoS art museum, which was  completed in 2004. The cube-shaped, nine-storey museum contains a glass front and a spacious internal ‘museum street’.

The circular walkway has a diameter of 52 metres, a width of three metres, and rests on slim columns three and a half metres above the rooftop of the museum. Each of the coloured glass panels had to be specifically made, since a special curvature was required to achieve the circular path. The panels are the only load-bearing structures that support the roof.

In order to achieve the same effect as by day, all the luminaires had to be concealed. The lighting provided solved the problem by using a specially developed indirect lighting system with T16 uplights installed along the inner perimeter of the walkway.

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