2020 GFD 🏆 Awards

Winner: Gates of Light by Studio Roosegaarde

The Afsluitdijk is the 32 kilometer long dike which 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 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. GATES OF LIGHT forms a model of a green landscape.

Winner- Global Future Design Awards 2020
Firm | Studio Roosegaarde
Category | Lightning Design
Team | Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and engineers
Country |Netherlands
Photographer/Copyright | ©Studio Roosegaarde

©Studio Roosegaarde

The new permanent and 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.

GATES OF LIGHT is for us the future of street lights; energy-neutral, safe and smart.

The 60 renovated floodgates of concrete uses a reflective layers of micro prisms on both sides of the Afsluitdijk. This type of lighting does not need electricity and uses the headlamps of the cars. The reflectors does not need maintenance and the rain keeps it clean. The technology and design is specially developed by the team of designers and engineers at Studio Roosegaarde. This is a concrete example of an energy-neutral landscape of light.

Daan Roosegaarde: “Why do we have street lamps burning the whole night when nobody is there? It is really not smart, using electricity without reason and creating bad light pollution.” GATES OF LIGHT is inspired as a solution to this problem.

Experience GATES OF LIGHT every night from your own car. Location 53° 0′ NB, 5° 10′ OL, Afsluitdijk the Netherlands.