daan roosegaarde plans innovative light interventions across landmark dutch dike

daan roosegaarde plans innovative light interventions across landmark dutch dike

dan roosegaarde has revealed a series of new concepts for the afsluitdijk — a 32 kilometer-long dike which protects the netherlands against flooding. built by hand in 1932, the landmark is now in need of a major renovation. roosegaarde has joined forces with the dutch government and surrounding municipalities to lead ‘icoon afsluitdijk’: an ambitious program of innovative ideas that intend to protect the future of the dike. 


the projects — some first previewed in july, and to be realized in the coming year — aim to form a subtle, interactive layer of light to emphasize the unique experience between man and landscape that the afsluitdijk embodies. ‘the dutch landscape has traditionally been a place for innovation,’ roosegaarde says. ‘our dikes symbolize the creativity power of the netherlands when it comes to living with water. now it is time for an update.’

‘gates of light’ is one of the permanent interventions of ‘icoon afsluitdijk’



from september 2-4, 2016, roosegaarde unveiled the new designs for afsluitdijk alongside a special edition of ‘waterlicht’, first presented along netherland’s river ijssel. this virtual flood shows how high water would reach without human intervention, displaying both the strength and fragility of the sea. undulating lines of light made with LED laser technology, software, and lenses form a powerful and poetic experience.

‘line of light’ comprises a light reflective layer on the guide rail of the afsluitdijk



also as part of ‘icoon afsluitdijk’, roosegaarde has unveiled ‘gates of light’ — a retroreflective layer which will cover the concrete of the lorentz and stevin lock complexes. this intervention will allow 60 renovated monuments to be lit up by the headlights of passing cars. roosegaarde turns otherwise everyday concrete locks into an interactive and cinematic experience that creates a luminous entrance to the afsluitdijk. 

‘line of light’ brings a feeling of calmness and safety to passing drivers



in continuing to emphasize the afsluitdijk’s inherent qualities, roosegaarde highlights the straight line of the dike with the installation ‘line of light’. a reflective layer will be added to the guide rail of the afsluitdijk, bringing a feeling of calmness and safety to drivers. 

‘windvogel’ can gather energy from the wind ranging from 20 to 100 kilowatts



following the dream of late dutch physicist and astronaut wubbo ockels to realize energy-generating kites, roosegaarde has planned ‘windvogel’. developed in collaboration with the delft university of technology, these floating kites can gather energy from the wind ranging from 20 to 100 kilowatts. luminous cables create a dynamic dance of lines while physically visualizing the energy that surrounds us.

luminous cables for ‘windvogel’ create a dynamic dance of lines



showcased in a historical bunker on the friesland side of the dike, ‘glowing nature’ comprises cultivated natural bioluminescent algae — one of the oldest organisms of the planet. visitors can interact directly with the species: as they move throughout the space, the algae emits a subtle green glow around them. 

‘glowing nature’ comprises cultivated natural bioluminescent algae

a special edition of ‘waterlicht’ was presented at breezanddijk in the netherlands

this virtual flood shows how high water would reach without human intervention

undulating lines of light are made with LED laser technology, software and lenses

    have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
    all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

    comments policy
    LOG IN
    designboom's comment policy guidelines
    generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
    the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

    what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
    let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

    - please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
    - please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
    - please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
    - please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
    - please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
    (there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
    in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
    the best 100-200 entries too.)

    a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


    a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

    design news

    keep up with our daily and weekly stories
    503,284 subscribers
    - see sample
    - see sample
    designboom magazine