Arjeplog is Sweden’s fourth largest municipality, and the fourth least populated. It is located in the far North of Sweden, in Norrbotten County. The Sami people, mainly fishers and hunters, have occupied the territory as early as 10,000 years ago. In the 1620s, silver was found in the area and a mining industry was established there, from 1635 to 1659. Today, the municipality is popular because of its magnificent natural surroundings and its historical Silver Museum. Due to its climate, Arjeplog also became a popular destination for many of the world’s largest automakers. Over the years, Arjeplog became the world largest winter car test centre. In collaboration with the architectural firm MAF Arkitektkontor, we produced three design programs for Arjeplog municipality: a Lighting Program, a Sign Program and a Concept Program. Those design programs give tools to the municipal council to strengthen the municipality’s identity and attractiveness. Our suggestions result from a complete analysis of Arjeplog’s particularities, such as the actual solutions, the climate, the history, the geography, the values and the landmarks. The Lighting Program provides a global understanding of safe, aesthetic and efficient lighting. Following our analysis of the municipality, we suggested overall lighting principles and we selected compliant products from the market. The proposals are illustrated, using places from the municipality as context examples. Our aim for Arjeplog is to harmonize the luminaires through the municipality and to create a “wow-effect” at its entrance. The selected luminaires have a silver finish, in link to Arjeplog Silver history.
We suggested luminaires with a simple and contemporary expression that harmonizes with the present and future architecture. For the entrance of the municipality, we suggested a unique luminaire that is shaped like a shining tree. The luminaire works both as an effective lighting during the dark months around the winter solstice; and as a tree sculpture during the bright months around the summer solstice. It is available with RGB lighting, which means that the trees can glow in different colours through the year, adapting for different seasons and special occasions. The Sign Program presents a complete signage system that enhances the understanding and the experience of Arjeplog. In accordance with our analysis of the municipality, we created a sign system that guides citizens and visitors through Arjeplog, with a unique and representative visual identity. With the right combination of typographies, colours, shapes and materials, we ensure brand recognition throughout the municipality. Different formats of the sign family were developed and illustrated, using places from the municipality as context examples. Our proposal for Arjeplog sign system is inspired by their Silver history and their strong relation with the car industry. We suggested a soft curved aluminium structure and with silver graphic elements that stand out from a dark overall colour. The Concept Program presents conceptual ideas for the close and far-future development of Arjeplog municipality. The aim of those ideas is to find new potential developments toward an economic growth, a social well-being and a sustainable future. The ideas are from different fields, such as architectural, urbanism and artistic. Among others, we suggested the development of a public car testing centre, which could become a touristic attraction. Also, since the Swedish Transport Administration, Trafikverket, had plans to build a new roundabout at the entrance of the municipality, we suggested an installation that would distinguish and represent Arjeplog. Our proposal is a large scale luminaire inspired by the concentric circular tracks made in the snow by the car testing industry. Arjeplog municipal council has approved and adopted the tree design programs. The municipal officials are now starting to integrate our suggestions.