This story was originally published in Architectural Lighting.

A view of the Afsluitdijk.
©Ossip A view of the Afsluitdijk.

To protect itself from flooding, the Netherlands is guarded by a 32-kilometer-long (19.8-mile-long) dike called the Afsluitdijk. Completed in 1932, it is one of the country’s engineering feats. Now, the government, at both national and local levels, has united in “an ambitious programme to protect and safeguard” its future.

A rendering of the proposed Gates of Light installation on the Afsluitdijk.
Studio Roosegaarde A rendering of the proposed Gates of Light installation on the Afsluitdijk.

To celebrate the unique infrastructure, Rotterdam-based Studio Roosegaarde has designed a trio of interactive lighting installations. Titled Icoon Afsluitdijk, the series is comprised of Gates of Light, Windvogel, and Glowing Nature. Gates of Light (shown) is inspired by the reflective qualities of a butterfly’s wings. Each of the dike’s fully restored 60 floodgates has been treated with a reflective layer that illuminates when activated by a passing car’s headlamps. All three installations can be viewed Nov. 17 to Jan. 21, 2018, at sunset.

Daytime view of the floodgates on the Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands.
©Ossip Daytime view of the floodgates on the Afsluitdijk in the Netherlands.

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