Witnessing the aurora borealis first-hand is one of life’s most amazing experiences – it’s just unfortunate that, even in the “auroral zone”, this celestial disco isn’t guaranteed. That’s okay though, because if the Northern Lights are a no show in Iceland – prime viewing territory – visitors departing the terminal at Keflavik airport can see the ethereal play of light right above their heads.
With a large and expansive ceiling to work with, inspiration wasn’t hard to find. To bring the natural phenomenon inside, we designed an interactive installation where discrete linear RGBW luminaires wash the mero ceiling structure with a mesmerising sequence of colour.
Spanning arrivals and departures, the feature picks up on occupancy levels and live weather data. When busy the aurora’s movement is quick compared to slower when quiet, and real-time Met Office data means the actual intensity can be replicated. But, it’s not all about the aurora – built in flexibility means anything can be displayed.
Our brief also extended to the general ceiling areas across the terminal. In food and beverage zones, indirect warm white linear light (discretely located in the structural framework) creates a soft wash onto adjacent architectural details and coffers. In retail portals, crisp white uniform lines of illumination were concealed within framework to enhance entrances.
Images: © OZZO Photography
— Daniel Blaker