A city’s water supply has always been one of its oldest and most essential technological infrastructures. The eye-catching Filborna Water Tower at Österleden in Helsingborg, Sweden, is a reinterpretation of a classic aqueduct. Designers have turned the traditional form inside out; instead of a compact tower, they have opened it up by making the outer shape create a space on the inside which is surrounded by a broad, elevated ring ninety metres in diameter.
Seven thousand tons of water are pumped up into the tower and moved easily around the structure, allowing the drinking water to remain clean. With sustainability at its core, the water tower – built between 2018 and 2022 – has been designed to last for 120 years.
Gert Wingårdh’s Architectural Office designed the water tower and described the project:
“From a great distance, it appears monolithic, a solid disk hovering over the landscape and the treetops. As one approaches, the inside starts to dominate.
Upon stepping into the middle of this ring, the building transforms entirely. It encircles us in an embrace so grand it could hold a football field. What can happen inside this ring is limited only by the imagination. The austere idiom, the pure geometry, and the incomprehensible dimensions create a monument that is hard to locate precisely in time.
Form, height, and gravity working together, joined to create an elemental force that can provide society with the one thing that can keep it alive: water.”
The pure architecture interacts with the surrounding landscape, consisting of open recreation space. The middle of the ring presents an opportunity for public use, such as dance or theatrical performances.
In 2021, the site was illuminated to be more visible and encourage use after dark. That same year the magnificent structure was awarded the prestigious Kasper Salin Prize by Sveriges Arkitekter for a Swedish building or building project of a high architectural standard.
The Filborna Water Tower’s lighting design was completed by Bertil Göransson and Luxera. The lighting scheme consists of Lumenpulse luminaires – supplied by Stockholm Lighting – driven by the award-winning Pharos Architectural Controls all-in-one control solution for dynamic lighting, the LPC (Lighting Playback Controller).
The LPC supports the DMX lighting protocol and features individually controllable and independent running timelines and scenes, allowing designer Bertil Göransson of Luxera to create dynamic, precise, pre-programmed lighting effects on the outside of the water tower. The installation transforms the bold structure with colourful displays of light.
Mark de Gruyter from Pharos Architectural Controls said “The significance of the water tower in Helsingborg has made this project one to remember. Not only has this new lighting scheme highlighted an important infrastructural building within the town, but it’s also transformed it – and encouraged footfall after dark.
We love how the architectural backdrop has been utilised with the middle ringed area being used for public events. The Pharos controls technology ensures the lighting can play an important role in such events, with the ability to remotely control the lighting”
Lighting Supplier Partner – Stockholm Lighting
Lighting Design – Bertil Göransson of Luxera
Architect – Gert Wingårdhs
Lighting products – Lumenpulse
Lighting control – Pharos Architectural Controls