HGR Property Partners and SARC Architects are converting the architectural masterpiece into four private homes that celebrate Saarinen’s original design
Helsinki, Finland (April 25, 2023) — Light Cognitive, the Nordic award-winning lighting design company behind the most realistic natural light solution ever made, today unveiled a striking ‘virtual skylight’ installation within Marmoripalatsi (“Marble Palace”), the landmark masterpiece envisioned by the world-renowned architect Eliel Saarinen in the heart of Helsinki’s Kaivopuisto Park. Originally built in 1918 and now under the protection of the Finnish Heritage Agency, the Marble Palace is undergoing a painstaking restoration and transformation led by HGR Property Partners, in collaboration with SARC Architects, to create a lavish private residence comprising four distinct homes that pay tribute to Saarinen’s original design.
Featuring a facade of Förby marble sourced from the Finnish archipelago, the Marble Palace combines elements of Classical, Viennese Art Nouveau and Finnish National Romanticist architecture. The ironworks magnate August Keirkner and his wife, Lydia, commissioned Saarinen to design the Marble Palace in 1916 — then known as Villa Keirkner — to serve as an elegant retirement residence showcasing the couple’s invaluable art collection. In order to achieve this goal, Saarinen designed an art gallery with a skylight that bathed the space in natural light — a gallery that is now the focal point of the home known as Lydia, a mesmerizing medley of rooms spread across three floors.In order to build a terrace above the gallery, HGR and SARC Architects determined the original skylight must be altered. The team commissioned Light Cognitive to create a custom skylight-inspired installation that would bring the look and feel of natural light into the space while staying true to Saarinen’s original design. As a result, the installation brings the airy feeling of being under a skylight to this reimagined gallery setting, while also providing superior light quality so that artworks display as accurately as possible.
“Light Cognitive’s virtual skylight amplifies the atmosphere of the apartment and creates an enchanting and gorgeous space for presenting one’s most prestigious and beloved items in a highly unique apartment,” said Ilkka Mäkelä, Property Development Director at HGR Property Partners.
Using a patented machine-learning technology that emulates nature's dawn-to-dusk cycle, Light Cognitive’s virtual skylight gradually changes in color and intensity to mimic the sky’s hues at any given time of day, effectively bringing the daylight experience indoors. As a result, the home’s future occupants will be able to enjoy the energizing benefits of natural light, such as improved sleep, productivity and enhanced well-being, no matter the time of day or year.
“Light Cognitive’s virtual skylights have the unique ability to recreate high-quality natural light alongside the appearance of clear skies, which can dramatically transform any room within the interior of any building, increasing property values and improving quality of life,” said Sami Salomaa, founder of Light Cognitive. “We’re proud to have leveraged this technology to contribute to the reinvention of one of Finland’s most iconic landmarks, the Marble Palace, while also helping to preserve Saarinen’s original vision for the enjoyment of the property’s future residents.”
Unlike other lighting companies, Light Cognitive offers unprecedented versatility in design and technology. As the first and only advanced lighting company able to recreate natural light, replicate the day's cycle, and offer custom dimensions, sizes and shapes, Light Cognitive’s installations can be adapted to fit any space, providing unlimited architectural freedom.All of Light Cognitive’s bespoke installations are unique, built with extensive scientific expertise and craftsmanship to provide the highest level of versatility. This enables architects to create discreet or striking, integrated or standout installations that bring a sense of luxury and imagination to their surroundings. While traditional lighting design focuses on fixtures, shades and spotlights, Light Cognitive reimagines the light itself as a work of art.
For more information about Light Cognitive, please visit www.lightcognitive.com.
About Light Cognitive
Light Cognitive is a Nordic award-winning lighting design company behind the most realistic natural light solution ever made. Using a patented machine-learning technology that emulates nature's dawn-to-dusk cycle, these virtual skylights and windows, or ‘light landscapes’, gradually change in color and intensity to mimic the sky’s hues at any given time of day, effectively bringing the daylight experience indoors. As a result, people can enjoy the energizing benefits of natural light, such as improved sleep, productivity and enhanced well-being, no matter the place, time of day or year. For more information, please visit
About HGR Property Partners
HGR Property Partners is a Finnish real estate development and investment company. Our sustainable-value development projects create desirable commercial and residential environments for the long term, uniting a wide range of stakeholders in creating vibrant and effective urban spaces in the Helsinki Metropolitan Area. For more information, please visit https://www.hgrpp.fi/en
About SARC Architects
SARC Architects is one of the largest architectural offices in Finland. With over 50 years of experience in various fields of architectural planning and design, SARC specializes in functionally challenging projects in both new construction and restoration. Our wide-ranging portfolio includes projects from urban planning to interior design. We design office and retail premises, residential properties and hotels as well as hospitals, laboratories and educational buildings. For more information, please visit www.sarc.fi