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City.People.Light award 2016

ÅF Lighting wins first prize at the 2016 City.People.Light award.

The city of Aalborg and ÅF Lighting was awarded the first prize of the 14th annual City.People.Light award for its innovative urban regeneration project “House of Music Area” in Aalborg, Denmark.

“This is a wonderful way to end the overall renovation project of Aalborg waterfront. As a lighting designer, it has been fantastic to work together with a municipality that prioritizes lighting and acknowledges the role of lighting in the creation of an active urban environment. I think it was the synergy between all involved partners and teams that brought about a well-integrated project”, said lighting designer Franziska Holmsted who received the award on behalf of ÅF Lighting on the 4th of November 2016 in Seoul, South Korea.

The “House of Music Area” is part of a larger renovation project that was geared towards transforming the Aalborg waterfront from an industrialized zone into a vibrant university city and buzzing cultural hub. The design embraced the local heritage of the site and used stakeholder analysis to ensure the space was not only attractive, but also inviting to local residents, students, and visitors.

The lighting design is themed by the musical characteristics of the House of Music and the Royal Academy of Music. The lighting poles are interpretations of violin bows and trees make up a forest of visual sound inviting people to poetic light-concerts after dark. The lighting supports various functions for the area and creates an attractive urban user-friendly space with a distinct visual identity.

“I believe that the City of Aalborg is a front runner in urban planning. For more than 10 years they have persistently pursued a multidisciplinary approach to urban development of the old industrial waterfront. Lighting has played an important role in creating an attractive and inviting urban environment with a unique visual identity. This award is a great recognition of professional lighting design as a tool for urban development – and I am of course very proud of our big contribution to this project.” says Allan Ruberg, Head of ÅF Lighting.

The international City.People.Light award was created by Philips Lighting and LUCI, the international network of cities on urban lighting, in 2003. Over the years, it has honored selected cities for their sustainable urban development projects that utilize light to enhance the environment and lives of local citizens.

“Lighting is a crucial part of city planning and their appeal. For the 14th consecutive year of this award, we received over 30 entries and have seen increasing interest from designers and cities in urban beautification and the importance given to urban lighting as part of their innovative city concepts,” said Kim Moonsung, Country Leader at Philips Lighting in Korea.


  • Client: Aalborg Municipality
  • Location: Aalborg, Denmark
  • Type: Urban lighting project
  • Lighting design: ÅF Lighting
  • Architects: C.F. Møller, Landscape architect.
  • Additional Project Credits: AK Belysning, COWI A/S, FutureSales
  • Photographer: ÅF Lighting


The overall project has already won several prizes and awards such as the Nordic Green Space Award, the Civic Trust Award, the Danish Lighting Award, the Danish Road Prize and The honorary award of the Danish Construction Industry. More recently Aalborg Municipality received the Architecture Prize and the Town Planning Prize 2016.