60 Years of Albertslund

Miami Beach, FL. Photo: Craig Denis. Courtesy of Louis Poulsen

A design can live for many years, but when it comes to technological products, the technological lifespan is significantly shorter. But the design of the Albertslund post top is so brilliant that the latest technological developments of our time have been integrated into the product without going beyond either the design or the function.

The lamp was designed in 1963 by Jens Møller Jensen. He was still a student at that time, but was given the task by his father, architect Viggo Møller Jensen and architect Thyge Arnfred, who were working on a project for KAB, specifically the Albertslund houses west of Copenhagen.

Jens Møller Jensen worked together with Louis Poulsen to create the Albertslund post top. There were several things in the lamp that were taken into the final Albertslund lamp, including the requirement that the lamp should emit a glare-free light. Jens Møller Jensen constructed a post top that gave a good and comfortable light, while a metal ring also prevented direct glare, which made the lamp very pleasant to look at. The large top shade has two functions, mainly to reflect the light downwards, but also to ensure that the light is directed exactly where it’s needed.

The Albertslund post top lighting concept has since formed the basis for a large family consisting of wall lamps and bollards outdoors, as well as two sizes, a Maxi version and the original, Albertslund Mini. In addition, the lighting concept was then also interpreted into a large indoor family and later into a new fixture that came to be called Planet. Here, Jens Møller Jensen’s architectural training came into play, as he saw the possibility of creating a design coherence in lighting, something which was later been perceived as natural.

Miami Beach Convention Center, Miami Beach, FL. Photo: Craig Denis. Courtesy of Louis Poulsen

The lamp’s simple design proved to have a fantastic adaptability to all types of architecture, both classical and modern, and the lamp is still experienced as modern today, and thus appears in countless contemporary architectural projects. The lamp is geometric in its design. A cylinder, a disk and a ring. It is also transparent, and the light is directed in a soft and pleasant way from the fixture. It is light in its design, and thus, not dominating in application settings, whether standing in a row or spread over a space. Elegant, yet effective.

The Albertslund post top is still, after 60 years, a unique piece of lighting design. At a time when there is a lot of talk about light pollution, this lamp, when it was launched, was way ahead of its time. The post top’s large top shade, which at the same time ensures an optimal reflection of the upwardly directed light, also ensures against accidental light spillage above fixtures, which is among other things, one of the most precarious subjects for organizations such as Dark Sky Organization and others. The glare-free light emission based on the rotation principle also provides a reassuring lighting, as people under the lamp are seen clearly and in full figure. In Australia, the post top was highlighted by the police as a light that created security in the nightlife.

Jefferson Street, San Francisco, CA. Photo: Adam Rouse Photography. Courtesy of Louis Poulsen.
Collins Park, Miami Beach, FL. Photo: Craig Denis. Courtesy of Louis Poulsen.

In 2000, Albertslund post top received the prestigious “Classic Award” from the Danish Design Council. The Classic Award is a prize for good Danish design that has lasted for over 25 years. And now for over 60 years, which is simply due to the fact that the design is not of the time, but with the times, and that the functionality of the design has made it possible to continuously update the technology so that the lamp today appears more ready for the future than it was intended from the start.

The USA has also adopted the spotlight, and one of the most photographed projects is Lincoln Road on Miami Beach, here the post top is almost as iconic as the colored houses on the “beach side”. Albertlund post top is also the standard lighting at the University of Chicago and others, and here it clearly shows its almost chameleon-like presence between new and old architecture. It ties the areas together like a red “lighting” thread.

Explore our collection of projects with the Albertslund Post Top in the USA.