The futuristic entrance of the Afsluitdijk is GATES OF LIGHT which returns 60 monumental floodgates of 1932 to their former glory. Every day more than 20.000 cars pass by the GATES OF LIGHT. The structures, initially designed by Dirk Roosenburg, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’ grandfather, 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. Without cars on the road, the structures do not illuminate. Using light this way requires zero energy and does not contribute to light pollution.
GATES OF LIGHT is part of the design innovation programme ICOON AFSLUITDIJK, commissioned by the Dutch Government.This work enhances the innovative character of the legendary 32-kilometre 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-kilometre long dike that protects the Netherlands against water and flooding. Built mostly by hand and realised in 1932, it is an engineering highlight of the Netherlands and a unique global site. After 85 years, the Afsluitdijk was in need of a thorough renovation. Therefore the Dutch state, and local municipalities and provinces joined forces to lead an ambitious programme to protect the future of the dike. 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.