The Lava Tunnel, Raufarhólshellir, arc, Issue 107

“Nordic lighting designers at EFLA have showcased the beauty of nature, highlighting the amazing colours of the Lava Tunnel in Iceland.” Since KSLD merged with EFLA to form the KSLD | EFLA Lighting Design division, it has been our absolute joy not only to visit, but to help promote this sensational, award winning project. Read the arc magazine feature here or the full Issue 107 here.

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This process of testing everything on site meant that the project evolved organically, in every sense of the word. Gunnlaugsson also believes that this was a big part of the project’s charisma and specialness.

Another aspect that adds to the special wonder is the magnificent natural colour palette. The array of red, pink and orange tones in the rock creates a lasting impression, and it was essential for EFLA to provide the right lighting to highlight these natural colours, without oversaturating them or making them feel artificial.

”Getting the precise colours - via DMX control - was vital to setting the aesthetics of the Lava Tunnel,” Gunnlaugsson said. “As was creating the required contrasts of light and shadow to intensify the natural colours and accent the dynamic geological DNA of the space. We took tests beside one of the three openings in the roof of the cave, where the daylight came in, and ‘copied’ the colours in order to get the most accurate colours.”

Lighting in these three openings also proved to be a challenge for Gunnlaugsson and his team. As the surrounding area is one of the best locations to see the Northern Lights, it was important to cut the light around the openings to prevent light pollution from the cave while at the same time lighting up the highlights around the openings without causing any glare to the guests.
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