An iconic lighthouse on the Northern Coast of Denmark was expected to fall in the sea within only a few years. The philanthropic fund Realdania decided to finance a temporary installation that would give once more access to the top of the tower and to the striking views over the landscape before this landmark would disappear in the abysses of the North sea.
The project included the construction of a new staircase able to welcome the public safely, as well as a welcoming area and a landscaped carpark.
The goal of the project is to transform the new access into a sensorial and poetic experience of the place, of the intensity of the elements and of time irreversibly shaping Rubjerg Knud.
The triangular staircase contrast with the square footprint of the tower, sometime following the massive walls carrying the marks of the history of the lighthouse and its different users, and sometime detaching itself to reveal the vertiginous space of the tower. The corten steel, its oxidation and accelerated flaking visualize the passage of time and translates it infinite nuances of warm oranges and brown tones. The core of the staircase conceals a giant kaleidoscope lit by a mobile mirror animated by the wind at the top. The blue hues of the water and the blinks of the sun are redirected inwards to produce an ever changing pattern inside the kaleidoscope. The new access to the breathtaking views attracted millions of visitors to the region and led the municipality to transport the tower 100 meters further in land and give it another 40 years to live.
As it turned out, the intervention, designed in collaboration with JaJa architects, was not the lighthouse’s swan song; the tower has been moved 70 metres inland, giving it a new lease of life.