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:
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“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
Promoting Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg.