Grontmij Lighting, Henning Larsen Architects win Danish Lighting Award for architectural LED lighting project at Novo Nordisk

Jan. 28, 2015
The 2014 Danish Lighting Award goes to Novo Nordisk's new headquarters in Bagsværd. The project has been designed by Henning Larsen Architects in collaboration with Grontmij’s Lighting Team, who’s been responsible for the lighting design. Novo Nordisk and the team of consultants are granted the award for a lighting project where the light's interaction with the building is so elegant that the light is sensed even more than it is seen.

"The lighting is integrated and enhances the architecture and the building's functions without drawing attention to itself. This project exemplifies the excellent developments in contemporary lighting design, where it is not the light itself that is eye-catching, but the architectural totality and the atmospheres that are created by the light," says Anne Bay, Jury Chairman and Director of the Danish Lighting Center.

Grand Architectural Lighting Concept
The lighting design has been created in collaboration between Grontmij Lighting and Henning Larsen Architects. The new headquarters consist of two office buildings (NN1 and NN2). Throughout the entire design process there has been a focus on integrating the lighting and luminaires into the architecture. The lighting system has been implemented using energy efficient light sources, including high-quality LEDs and luminaires that shield the light sources to avoid the visual discomforts of glare to the greatest extent possible. The underlying lighting strategy has been clearly communicated and well documented.

Anne Bay moreover notes: "The light is subtle because it highlights accurately the forms, functions and atmospheres that were planned by the architects. Both the totality and the details have been executed with rare precision and high visual comfort. There is no glare. The lighting quality and the colours of light accentuate the materials, shapes and colours, and in the places where the lighting is meant to be uniform, it is impressively evenly distributed.”

The use of LED light sources offers advantages and challenges alike. Amongst the advantages is the possibility to create white light in precise spectral compositions that are needed to emphasise a particular material or colour as best possible. Amongst the challenges is the risk of glare due to LEDs’ very small and bright light diodes. In each building there is a central atrium with a unifying staircase that is surrounded by working and ancillary spaces. Each atrium is designed with its own special skylight. Both skylights have been realised using customised coloured LED lighting that accentuates the two very different architectural spaces in refined and very evocative ways. The colours are discreet and well adapted, and in the situations where the lighting is dynamic, the colours of light are composed in a natural colour spectrum, ranging from deep petrol blue to warm ochre orange. The lighting has been programmed in slow and poetic rhythms that are experienced over time.

"The lighting designers and architects of this project exude a masterful overview of their resources and tools, and have convincingly used them in a pleasant, understated way that leaves room for many other impressions. The client, Novo Nordisk, has had the courage and determination to uphold a very high level of ambition," says Anne Bay.

Award Ceremony
On Thursday, January 22, 2015, the award was presented at a festive gathering held in Alexandersalen at the University of Copenhagen. Representatives from Novo Nordisk, Henning Larsen Architects, Grontmij Lighting and Alectia received the award on behalf of the entire team behind the project.

Novo Nordisk's new headquarters wins the Danish Lighting Award in close competition with the other nominated projects: Sensory maternity delivery rooms in North Zealand Hospital, Hillerød; The Kara/Noveren Energy Tower, Roskilde; Langenæs Church, Aarhus.

Additional Information
Anne Bay, Director of the Danish Lighting Centre and Jury Chairman, tel: +45 22 61 74 34, or
Dorte Gram, Architect m.a.a. and Jury Secretary, tel:+45 47 17 18 00 / +45 24 44 00 84
Christina Augustesen, Lighting Designer, Lighting, Grontmij, [email protected], tel: +45 2327 4655
Farid Fellah, Press Manager, Henning Larsen Architects, [email protected], tel: +45 8231 3160
Mette Kruse Danielsen, Media Relations Manager, Novo Nordisk A/S, [email protected], tel: +45 3079 3883

The Danish Lighting Award was founded by the Danish Lighting Centre and was first awarded in 2008. The purpose of the award is to focus on light and people. This is done by highlighting the most interesting, well-designed and well-executed lighting projects in Denmark. The evaluation criteria include, amongst other things, the project’s technical qualities, functionality, visual and aesthetic aspects, energy consumption and operating costs.

Danish Architects Association: Astrid Mody, Architect m.a.a.
Danish Association of Construction Clients: Rita Justesen, Head of Planning and Architecture
Danish Lighting Centre: Anne Bay, Director, (Jury Chairman)
Danish Energy Association: Kurt Hincheli Hejlesen, Key Account Manager - Outdoor Lighting
Danish Landscape Architects: Rune Bugge Jensen, Landscape Architect m.d.l.
Lighting Design Educations: Ellen Kathrine Hansen, Architect m.a.a., PhD, Assoc. Prof. of Lighting
Danish Association of Consulting Engineers: Steen Tibert Bisgaard,,Tech. Lighting Manager
Tekniq: Niels Iversen, Project Leader

Danish Lighting Centre, Louis Poulsen, Philips Lighting, SEAS-NVE and VELUX Denmark A/S


Dorte Gram, Architect m.a.a. and Jury Secretary - Danish Lighting Centre

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