Prolific and innovative designer Daan Roosegaarde unveiled new designs for Icoon Afsluitdijk, a proposed 32-kilometer-long installation that uses light to breathe new life into the Netherland’s landmark Afsluitdijk dike. The art installation was commissioned to bring poetry and renewed interest to the historic engineering landmark, which will be strengthened in the coming years to fortify the country’s defenses against floodwaters. The project’s latest designs were revealed this past weekend as part a kickoff event.
Built mostly by hand in 1932, the Afsluitdijk is a 32-kilometer-long dike that has protected the Netherlands from flooding for nearly a century. As part of a plan to renovate and strengthen the dike, the Dutch government commissioned Studio Roosegaarde to celebrate the dike through art. Roosegaarde’s Icoon Afsluitdijk will use a mix of light sources to enhance the infrastructure’s beauty, from bioluminescent algae to colorful LED lasers.
Icoon Afsluitdijk comprises four major elements: the Gates of Light, the Line of Light, Windvogel, and Glowing Nature. Gates of Light will highlight the 60 renovated historical lock complexes with retroreflective coating that will catch and reflect the light emitted by the headlights of passing cars. The Line of Light turns the 32-kilometer-long guide rail into a light reflective and emphasizes its straight line. Windvogel brings to life high-flying illuminated kites that harness wind energy. Bioluminescent algae are the star of the show of Glowing Nature and will be showcased in a historic bunker.
“The Afsluitdijk stands for daring, action, and innovative engineering,” said Dutch Minister of Infrastructure and Environment Melanie Schultz van Haegen. “In this project, we are building on that tradition and, in terms of flood risk management, sustainability, and innovation, the Afsluitdijk will thus remain a living legend today, tomorrow and in the distant future.”
Images via Studio Roosegaarde