Most of us won’t have a chance to blast off to outer space and glimpse the beauty of Earth at night. But designer Daan Roosegaarde’s firm Studio Roosegaarde brought that image of light and darkness to the Eindhoven Railway Station in the Netherlands. This new, interactive art installation, called SPACE, gives travelers the opportunity to, in the words of Roosegaarde, “experience a new dimension of light, just as an astronaut sees it in an orbit of the Earth.” Inhabitat spoke with Roosegaarde to hear more.


SPACE, SPACE by Studio Roosegaarde, Studio Roosegaarde, Daan Roosegaarde, Eindhoven Station, Netherlands, the Netherlands, outer space, Earth, light, lights, LED light, LED lights, night, dark, darkness, art, artwork, art installation, art installations, design, NASA, satellite image, satellite images, satellite imagery, train station, train stations, tunnel, tunnels

People walking through Eindhoven Station will now have a good reason to linger a while. Studio Roosegaarde‘s SPACE illuminates a tunnel with a 90-meter, or 295-foot, artwork, drawing on NASA satellite imagery of the Earth. Roosegaarde told Inhabitat the piece is “about wonder, and bringing some silence and imagination in this busy train station.” SPACE is located where Eindhoven Station’s main entrance once was, before it was renovated, and the art installation was designed to add the feeling of more space as it enhances the architecture.

Related: INTERVIEW: Designer Daan Roosegaarde on smog temples, space trash, and what’s next

The Studio Roosegaarde team opened Earth into one long strip, like you might peel an apple or orange. They digitally edited the NASA images into a composite 3D image. Using new technology, they printed images on special lenses to create the illusion of depth.

Roosegaarde told Inhabitat, “It sort of relates to 3D holiday cards: when you would rotate it you would see different images, the sort of hologram-type of feeling. Well, we went back to the lab, and really started enhancing that, so you have 45 images per lens, on 20 lenses.”

SPACE, SPACE by Studio Roosegaarde, Studio Roosegaarde, Daan Roosegaarde, Eindhoven Station, Netherlands, the Netherlands, outer space, Earth, light, lights, LED light, LED lights, night, dark, darkness, art, artwork, art installation, art installations, design, NASA, satellite image, satellite images, satellite imagery, train station, train stations, tunnel, tunnels

Controlled LED lights brighten the artwork, providing contrast between places like North Korea and South Korea, or around the Nile River in Egypt.

“UNESCO is actually working on the idea that a dark sky is a right, like an experience that everyone must be able to see the stars at night. They’re working on that to make that sort of like a world heritage,” Roosegaarde told Inhabitat. “And that is fascinating, because we work a lot with light, but we also appreciate darkness, and only using light when it’s needed. Why do we have streetlights burning the whole night when nobody’s there? That’s really stupid. Can we not make that smarter, more interactive, more personal?”

SPACE, SPACE by Studio Roosegaarde, Studio Roosegaarde, Daan Roosegaarde, Eindhoven Station, Netherlands, the Netherlands, outer space, Earth, light, lights, LED light, LED lights, night, dark, darkness, art, artwork, art installation, art installations, design, NASA, satellite image, satellite images, satellite imagery, train station, train stations, tunnel, tunnels

The images in SPACE come from outer space, but Roosegaarde was also inspired by the idea of “space in your head.” He told Inhabitat, “You look at it, and you wonder. I think there’s not a lack of money in this world, or of technology; there’s a lack of imagination. It’s space in your brain: space to think, space to imagine. That’s what makes us human. That’s our true capital.”

Eindhoven – which is the city of light – commissioned the artwork along with ProRail and National Dutch Railways for the train station’s restored passenger tunnel, which was designed by Luc Veeger of Arcadis. SPACE will be highlighted during Dutch Design Week, which will take place from October 21 through October 29.

+ Studio Roosegaarde

Images courtesy of Studio Roosegaarde

SPACE, SPACE by Studio Roosegaarde, Studio Roosegaarde, Daan Roosegaarde, Eindhoven Station, Netherlands, the Netherlands, outer space, Earth, light, lights, LED light, LED lights, night, dark, darkness, art, artwork, art installation, art installations, design, NASA, satellite image, satellite images, satellite imagery, train station, train stations, tunnel, tunnels

SPACE, SPACE by Studio Roosegaarde, Studio Roosegaarde, Daan Roosegaarde, Eindhoven Station, Netherlands, the Netherlands, outer space, Earth, light, lights, LED light, LED lights, night, dark, darkness, art, artwork, art installation, art installations, design, NASA, satellite image, satellite images, satellite imagery, train station, train stations, tunnel, tunnels

SPACE, SPACE by Studio Roosegaarde, Studio Roosegaarde, Daan Roosegaarde, Eindhoven Station, Netherlands, the Netherlands, outer space, Earth, light, lights, LED light, LED lights, night, dark, darkness, art, artwork, art installation, art installations, design, NASA, satellite image, satellite images, satellite imagery, train station, train stations, tunnel, tunnels

SPACE, SPACE by Studio Roosegaarde, Studio Roosegaarde, Daan Roosegaarde, Eindhoven Station, Netherlands, the Netherlands, outer space, Earth, light, lights, LED light, LED lights, night, dark, darkness, art, artwork, art installation, art installations, design, NASA, satellite image, satellite images, satellite imagery, train station, train stations, tunnel, tunnels

SPACE, SPACE by Studio Roosegaarde, Studio Roosegaarde, Daan Roosegaarde, Eindhoven Station, Netherlands, the Netherlands, outer space, Earth, light, lights, LED light, LED lights, night, dark, darkness, art, artwork, art installation, art installations, design, NASA, satellite image, satellite images, satellite imagery, train station, train stations, tunnel, tunnels