Gates of Light

Gates of Light

Gates of Light

GATES OF LIGHT is the permanent installation which illuminates 60 buildings through retro reflection using the headlamps of passing cars. As you drive through, the historical architecture lights up and creates a futuristic landscape of light which uses no electricity.

The new futuristic entrance of the Afsluitdijk is GATES OF LIGHT which brings the 60 monumental floodgates of 1932 back to their glory. Every day more than 20.000 cars pass by the GATES OF LIGHT. The structures, which were originally designed by Dirk Roosenburg, the grandfather of Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, have been fully renovated and augmented with a retro-reflective layer. In the dark, the architecture of these structures is illuminated by the headlamps of passing cars, reflecting the light through small prisms. If there are no cars on the road, the structures are not illuminated. This way of using light requires zero energy and does not contribute to light pollution.

GATES OF LIGHT is part of ICOON AFSLUITDIJK, the design innovation program commissioned by the Dutch Government, which enhances the innovative character of the legendary 32 kilometer Dutch dike whilst highlighting its key functions: water protection & heritage, energy and mobility as an exemplary model of a smart landscape for today and tomorrow.

The Afsluitdijk is the 32 kilometer long dike which protects the Netherlands against water and flooding. Built mostly by hand and realized in 1932 it is an engineering highlight of the Netherlands and a unique place in the world. After 85 years, the Afsluitdijk is now in need of a thorough renovation. The Dutch state with the surrounding municipalities and provinces have joined forces to lead an ambitious programme to protect the future of the dike. As part of the programme, Roosegaarde's ICOON AFSLUITDIJK enhances the iconic status of the Afsluitdijk with a layer of light and interaction. The three designs developed by Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and engineers entitled GATES OF LIGHT, WINDVOGEL and GLOWING NATURE form a model of a green landscape.

ICOON AFSLUITDIJK is the 32 kilometer layer of light and interaction which enhances the Afsluitdijk.
ICOON AFSLUITDIJK is the 32 kilometer layer of light and interaction which enhances the Afsluitdijk.

Specifications:

2017, Permanent. 60 renovated floodgates with reflective layers of micro prisms and concrete on both sides of the Afsluitdijk. Experience GATES OF LIGHT every night from your own car. Location 53° 0′ NB, 5° 10′ OL, Afsluitdijk the Netherlands. The documentary 32 KM follows Daan Roosegaarde and his team in the making of this project.

Made in collaboration with Daan Roosegaarde and his Studio Roosegaarde, Ministry of Infrastructure and Waterstate, Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk, Province of Friesland, and Province of North Holland. Development Partners: KitePower, Wageningen University & Research (WUR), TTB, Eurocarbon, Versalume.

Clients:

Ministry of Infrastructure and Waterstate, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, and De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk.

Selected Exhibitions

Downloads

Factsheet

Press Release

32 KM now as KLM inflight movie
32 KM now as KLM inflight movie
Our documentary 32 KM is now on board all KLM planes as inflight movie. The movie follows Daan Roosegaarde and his team in the ups and downs of making Icoon Afsluitdijk, our largest work to date.
Fast Company honours Gates of Light
Fast Company honours Gates of Light
Fast Company's 2018 Innovation by Design Awards honours Gates of Light in the Spaces, Places and Cities category. Celebrating our permanent installation on the Afsluitdijk as a model for sustainable mobility. Read more here.
GATES OF LIGHT wins Platinum A’Design Award
GATES OF LIGHT wins Platinum A’Design Award
Our permanent sustainable gateway on the Afsluitdijk GATES OF LIGHT, receives the prominent Platinum A’Design Award.