Tartu Cathedral lighting design competition reaches second stage

Image: Kiur Kaasik

(Estonia) – With Tartu named as the European Capital of Culture 2024, the University of Tartu Museum earlier this year announced a competition for the lighting design of the Tartu Cathedral. Earlier this month, the jury of the lighting design project selected three teams to continue to the second round of the competition.

Since launching the competition, the jury received 19 applications from across Europe and the USA. Applicants were required to submit their CV and portfolio of previous works, including at least three public area lighting projects from the last five years; preference was also given to participants who had designed lighting solutions for historical buildings.

The jury has now narrowed down the entries to three teams of lighting designers, who will continue to the second round of the competition. These are Estonian designers Marko Kuusik, Mariliis Kundla, Katrin Kivisikk (ITK Lighting) and Mihkel Pajuste; Kevan Shaw Lighting Design (Scotland); and Ensemble, a group of lighting designers comprising Fiorenzo Namèche (Light to Light, Belgium), Alfred Sa (Nur L+D, Spain) and Chiara Carucci (Chiara Carucci Lighting Design, Sweden).

The jury is comprised of the Director of the University of Tartu Museum, Mariann Raisma; Artistic Director for the European Capital of Culture Tartu 2024, Kati Ilves; artist Elo Liiv; Heiki Pagel, Head of the University of Tartu Estates Office; lighting designer Eva Tallo; and landscape architect Anna-Liisa Unt of the Department of Urban Design of Tartu City Government.

Speaking of the design teams that progressed to the second round, Ilves said: “We believe that the collectives invited to the second round will best ensure the desired artistic dimension of the lighting design and, by interpreting the historic and architectural layering, offer a novel conceptual vision.”

Elo Liiv, organiser of the Tartu in Light festival, added: “I am pleased that this is such a high-level competition. Tartu is slightly bohemian and a youthful university town; we like to say that here you’ll meet the spirit rather than authority. All of this can be conveyed and supported by light – by creating shady areas for lovers of night and romance, as well as spaces for light shows of high artistic level.
“The selected teams have the potential to take a sensitive approach to the cathedral, illuminating the layers and rhythms of the rough façade of this historically unique building. The winning solution for lighting the cathedral ruins will be of monumental importance, as the location high above the town on Toome Hill will influence the atmosphere of Tartu’s old town and its surroundings.”

More information about the design competition can be found here.