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Discover Benelux |  Special Theme |  Design

Ride through a Van Gogh painting The Dutch have done it again – they have created something unique and extraordinary for the world: an illuminated bicycle path. The path combines innovation and design with cultural heritage and tourism; it links the past with the present and the future. TEXT: BERTHE VAN DEN HURK  |  PHOTOS: NBTC

As soon as the sun goes down, the path lights up. Special ‘light stones’ charged by  solar  power  during  day  light  up throughout the night. After dark, visitors are  amazed  by  a  design  of  light  and colour.  The  pattern  in  which  the  light stones  are  applied  is  inspired  by  the work of Vincent van Gogh, the world-famous painting The Starry Night. The spiral  curls  in  the  painting  are  reflected  in the pattern of the bricks. 

When technology and art collide According  to  the  Dutch  designer  Daan Roosengaarde,  this  will  create  a  “play on  light  and  poetry”.  Roosegaarde: 

48 |  Issue 12 |  December 2014

“I wanted to create a place that people will  experience  in  a  special  way,  the technical combined with an experience, that’s what techno-poetry means to me.”  Together  with  Heijmans,  a  Dutch  construction  company,  Roosegaarde  created  a  special  innovative  technology. Thousands of little twinkling stones were ‘sprinkled’ on the existing road. During the  day,  the  technology  allows  the stones to charge, and at night they illuminate  the  path.  By  ‘sprinkling’  the stones,  Roosegaarde  emulated  the brushstrokes of Van Gogh and used the road like his own canvas. Heijmans reasphalted the road, so the stones could

be integrated in the asphalt. “Our partnership  seems  unconventional,  but  it brings the best of both worlds together, creating new solutions for the mobility of tomorrow,” Roosegaarde says. The bike trail is surrounded by meadows; therefore it is very dark at night. The stones illuminate the path for 600 metres. Those 600 metres may not seem like a typically long  Dutch  cycling  path,  but  it  is  much more than that. It is an experience of art that can be understood by everyone, and it also offers a little help to find your way in the dark Dutch fields. In fact, it is a piece of art which visitors are allowed to touch and

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Discover Benelux | Issue 12 | December 2014  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Discover Benelux | Issue 12 | December 2014  

Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.