PICTURES: Cycling Route Baana Turns Into Tunnel of Light in Helsinki

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The cycling and pedestrian route Baana displays lighting installations until September 27. Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

The tunnels under the bridges of the cycling and pedestrian route Baana in downtown of Helsinki transform into lighting installations until September 27.

The installations, which were set up on Thursday, create visual rhythm, colour and interaction to the urban space – experiences that are more common under the theatre lights. The installations tell stories, highlight the details of architecture and comment on the history of the location.

Around ten lighting installations are implemented on the just short of 1.5-kilometre route from Mannerheimintie to the Länsilinkki on Mechelininkatu.

The inspiration for the installations is Alinen, the underworld of spirits in Finnish folklore. Underworld was reached through a tunnel or a small cave, and during the journey, one could face the spirits of the departed, healing forces or spirit animals.

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Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

The design groups have interpreted the theme freely, from an urban point of view. The theme emphasises the characteristics of Baana as a space for the citizens, which is separate from the city above, dominated by cars and commercial activities.

The purpose of the project is to gather experiences on the use of new, energy-efficient lighting solutions and their effect on the sense of comfort and safety.

The Bright Baana event is part of the celebrations of the UN International Year of Light.

The beautiful experiences of light that Baana offers its users are the result of cooperation between the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) of Finland, Helsinki Metropolia University of Applied Sciences and City of Helsinki Public Works Department.

Baana, completed in 2012, opened up a cycling and pedestrian route from the West Harbour to the city centre, when the railway traffic was stopped on the old port tracks, built a hundred years earlier. In some places, Baana is a dramatic canyon, lined by steep cliff walls, and in other places it is a lively “living room” for the youth or a park-like embankment. The pedestrian and cycling corridor, which was built into a former railway canyon, was awarded as a commercial-free public space in the European Prize for Urban Public Space competition in 2014, from among nearly 200 European cities.

Source: The City of Helsinki

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Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

 

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Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today

 

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Picture: Morgan Walker for Finland Today