Danish Art Museum ARoS “Rainbow Halo” Illuminated with LEDs

The roof of the Danish Art Museum ARoS circular walkway "Your rainbow panorama" lit up with lights. (All photos courtesy of Zumtobel)

Can you really walk through a rainbow? Yes, in Aarhus, Denmark, on top of the roof of the Danish Art Museum ARoS, to be precise, where renowned artist Olafur Eliasson has implemented a spectacular installation: a 150-meter circular walkway titled “Your rainbow panorama”. Visitors to the rainbow ring located at a height of 50 meters can enjoy a breath-taking 360° view of the harbour town. The daylight filtering through the curved glass walls in all colours of the spectrum, each of them specifically made for this purpose, creates the impression of being inside a rainbow. For the installation to be visible also at night, Eliasson relied on Zumtobel, his long-term partner in lighting: from dusk till dawn, a specially developed lighting solution incorporating 116 recessed uplights installed along the inner periphery of the ring transforms the white ceiling into a source of light, so that the panoramic walkway appears like a rainbow hovering above the museum.

People viewing the city from the red colored section of "Your rainbow panorama." 

A rainbow over Aarhus
“Your rainbow panorama” is the last puzzle piece of the ARoS Art Museum, which had been completed in 2004. The cube-shaped, nine-storey museum building boasting a glass front and a spaciously designed museum street inside seems to be the perfect location for the rainbow installation. The circular walkway installed at a height of 50 metres has a diameter of 52 meters, a width of three meters, and rests on slim columns three and a half meters above the rooftop of the museum. Visitors inside “Your rainbow panorama” enjoy a unique panoramic view over Aarhus through the glass walls. Each of the coloured glass panels had to be specifically made for this purpose, since a special curvature was required to achieve the circular path. These panels are the only load-bearing structures that support the roof. By day, it is natural sunlight that is filtered through the laminated glass, making the entire installation seem to glow in the colours of the rainbow. At dusk and at night, daylight is replaced by 116 special recessed uplights provided by Zumtobel. 

The view of the "Your rainbow panorama"  from different angles.

In order to achieve the same effect as by day, all the luminaires had to be concealed. Zumtobel solved this problem by using a specially developed indirect lighting system: T16 uplights were installed along the inner perimeter of the walkway. The special luminaires have been recessed into the edges of the floor below a walkable anti-glare louvre. The reflectors and materials used for the luminaires were specially optimised for this project, so that the entire ceiling surface is symmetrically illuminated. Thus, the ceiling of the panoramic walkway becomes a virtual source of light that makes the coloured glass panels seem to glow against a light background, while visitors are still able to enjoy the view from inside.

The view of the "Your rainbow panorama"  of ARoS against the Amsterdam night scape.


ARoS Kustmuseum, Aarhus (DK)


Studio Olafur Eliasson, Berlin (DE)

Lighting design:

Studio Olafur Eliasson

Electrical consultants:

NIRAS, Aarhus (DK)

Electrical installations:

Risskov Installatoer Forretning A/S, Risskov (DK)

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