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Signs of Svalbard

Welcome to Longyearbyen!

You might have seen the pilot sign – or test sign – that is erected close by Svalbard museum and the Science park? This sign marks the beginning of a new and exciting project in Longyearbyen.

A groundbreaking project

Visit Svalbard, The Governor of Svalbard and Longyearbyen community council cooperates on a strategic and comprehensive sign plan for Longyearbyen. The first sign stations will be mounted several places in and around the center of Longyearbyen in 2019 and 2020. Our aim is that the sign stations will make it even more interesting and educational to move around in Longyearbyen and offer both those visiting and those living here a possibility to educate themselves in themes relevant for today’s and the past’s life in the Arctic.

For 2019 we plan up to 7 sign stations spread from Nybyen in the south to the sea side in the north. The signs will offer information about Longyearbyen as it is today, but also offer deeper insight to the city’s former mining community. The exiting facts about how Svalbard was created, its geology and fossils will also be mentioned on the signs.

Best preserved wilderness

Information on nature and environmental issues, as well as information on how to roam safely and at the same time show consideration to the vulnerable surroundings will have a prominent placement on the signs. On Svalbard the goal is to have the world’s best-preserved wilderness, thus strict requirements apply both to those who live here and those who visit Longyearbyen.

The web site will offer additional information to that found on the actual signs. It can be challenging to stand out in the open to read on signs for a length of time, therefore you will find more exciting information on our website very soon!

Ambition and goal for the sign plan

The signs in Longyearbyen will contain important information, and convey our city’s distinctive history and character, but also offer an experience. We have looked for ways to fascinate, create curiosity, put things in perspective and give visitors something to ponder.

Design template

The design template for the sign stations builds on the principles and guidelines outlined in the thematic plan for traffic and experience. The thematic plan is the result of a joint project with Visit Svalbard and Longyearbyen community council and outlined the need of information/signs to increase Longyearbyen’s attractiveness.

The constructions in the sign plan are based on a scalable modular system and made from durable and relatively maintenance free materials. The sign stations will appear sober yet be welcoming and tempt visitors to take a closer look. The constructions are suitable for the climatic conditions on Svalbard, will require little maintenance, and can easily be adapted to both large and small installations. The aim is furthermore to not make any unnecessary intervention with nature or close to cultural remains.

The design template is designed by Tibe T reklamebyrå in cooperation with LINK Arkitektur and Multiconsult in the period of 2018–2019.

Selection of materials – guidelines

When preparing the design and selecting the materials the focus has been to create lasting solutions suitable for the climate in Longyearbyen, customized for its use and traffic. Stability, durability, economic issues and maintenance has been the basis of the specifications. We have chosen materials known to be solid and timeless, and that fit well with Longyearbyen.

The columns made of cured two-layer glass will to a very small degree be affected by the climate. The glass will protect the text and illustrations against sand, frost and curious human hands. The curing will be of the strongest quality, which will make the columns almost unbreakable. The glass is transparent and will offer a soft transition between the surroundings and the information offered.

The platforms will be cast in concrete, which can handle the rough arctic climate, has weight and will be steady. The concrete offers possibilities for variation in the surface with embedded fossils, symbols and other markings.

Neither glass nor concrete is especially costly nor maintenance-intensive.

Lighting – for readability and athmosphere

The glass columns will be lighted by linear LED fixtures with asymmetric light spreading, mounted in fixture houses made of stainless steel. This is high quality fixtures with light sources with a long lifetime. The colour of the light will be chosen to suit the distinctive light found on Svalbard.

Taking a breather

Accessories as benches and trashcans will be designed according to the geometrical principles in the design template. The materials will be concrete and stainless steel, and to give a warmer surface on the benches we will use natural oak.

The project is supported by the Svalbard Environmental Protection Fund. 

Visit Svalbard Sustainable Destination Eco-Lighthouse

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