Dutch artist lights up dike for renovation celebrations

9 pictures

"Gates of Light" sees the concrete of the Lorentz and Stevin lock complexes covered in a retroreflective layer, which will subsequently be lit up by the headlights of passing cars(Credit: Studio Roosegaarde)

View gallery - 9 images

We've already seen one way that artist Daan Roosegaarde has celebrated the renovation of the Netherlands' 32-km (20-mi) long Afsluitdijk dike and roadway. Now, he's announced more light-based projects that will comprise the Icoon Afsluitdijk program, including reflective surfaces and bioluminescent algae.

The Afsluitdijk (literally "enclosing dike") protects the Netherlands from flooding. Having been completed in 1932, it now needs renovating and strengthening. As part of the project, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment enlisted Roosegaarde to deliver a cultural element celebrating the dike's beauty.

Roosegaarde unveiled the new designs for Icoon Afsluitdijk during its opening weekend from September 2 - 4, during which a special, temporary edition of his Waterlicht artwork, which was first shown in Amsterdam, was exhibited. It's aimed at showing to what extent the Netherlands would be submerged if its extensive network of dikes, dams and waterworks were not in place, with LED laser technology, software and lenses used to create wavy blue lines of light.

Another temporary temporary piece is called "Glowing Nature" and sees natural bioluminescent algae being cultivated. The algae is being exhibited in an old bunker built into the dike, with visitors able to interact with it.

Among the permanent works are the "Gates of Light" installation, which sees the concrete of the Lorentz and Stevin lock complexes covered in a retroreflective layer developed by Roosegaarde.

These structures will subsequently be lit up by the headlights of passing cars, with the aim of producing a "cinematic experience" and "a spectacular entrance to the Afsluitdijk." Similarly, "Line of Light" will see a reflective layer added to a guide rail that runs along the length of the Afsluitdijk, emphasizing the 32-km (20-mi) straight line of the dike.

The permanent concepts will be completed in 2017. The video below shows the Waterlicht Afsluitdijk installation.

View gallery - 9 images

Top stories

Recommended for you

Latest in Architecture

Editors Choice