Lighting Design Collective: Väre

Exploring the intersection of art, urban design and architecture, Väre is a poetic embodiment of sparkling sunlight on Baltic Sea.

Väre is made of light, sea, wind and people. Consisting of approx. 2000 Kelvar ropes, the piece amplifies the space as a meeting point for locals and visitors of Kalasatama, Helsinki. It refers to the history of the region as an old harbour with an industrial vibe, whilst generating an artistic and engaging identity for the new developments in Kalasatama.

Väre: to shimmer

The Finnish word Väre means to shimmer. Exploring the intersection of art, urban design and architecture, Väre is a poetic embodiment of sparkling sunlight on Baltic Sea. The play of light and shadow in the daytime on the ropes’ golden tone resembles the harbour, whilst the installation transforms to a mysterious yet inviting field of golden light after the sunset. The rope installation is not fully tensed to allow the wind to interact with the piece, making it dynamic and lively.

The overall aesthetic is Inspired by the kinetic art movement in 1960’s and Jesus Rafael Soto’s works. The materiality of the ropes, floor/ ceiling connections and the floating seats are carefully chosen to imply marine feeling.

The mesh density varies inside the installation, creating hollow spaces for people to pass through Väre.

The beginning

LDC was asked by Helin and Co Architects to design an installation within a 15m height outdoor space of recently opened Redi Shopping mall. The project is a part of a collaboration between SRV & Berry Creative to curate 9 permanent art/ architectural installations in Kalasatama Smart City; one of the biggest construction projects in Finland. Our first impression was to create a ‘place within a space’; A tactile urban space to generate memories.

Place vs. Space

How can we shape an urban spatial experience to activate the space? What are the elements that transform a Space to a Place where people choose to linger and what can we learn from urban design studies to achieve that?

Being next to one of the shopping centre’s main entrances, the area had a transient quality. This led us to re-imagine the space identity by applying a Placemaking approach.

Väre is a simple merge between the manmade space and nature aiming to establish an emotional connection with the users by introducing contextual, experiential & playful elements. It invites people to float in a shimmering volume, or to simply sit, relax, or meditate embraced by the warmth of light during the day and night.

From acrobatics circus performance to a music inspired by the piece to promoting outdoor physical activities, Väre has become an urban stage to shine a light on people’s daily life and beyond.

Does the artwork use sound?
No sound, except naturally occurring wind blowing through the installation.


BLAF Best of Light Art in Finland
is hosted by
Finnish Light Art Society FLASH

Producer: Annukka Ketola
+358 40 735 3972

Mia Kivinen /
Anna Björklund /

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