60 monumental floodgates of 1932 back to their former glory

by Valentina Ieva
15 Love 3049 Visits

The new futuristic entrance of the dike GATES OF LIGHT brings the 60 monumental floodgates of 1932 back to their former glory.

The structures, which were originally designed by Dirk Roosenburg, the grandfather of Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, have been fully restored 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. 

The Afsluitdijk is the 32 kilometer long dike which protects the Netherlands against water and flooding. Built mostly by hand and realized 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.

ICOON AFSLUITDIJK is a 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. The projects Gates of Light, Windvogel and Glowing Nature are open for public from 17 November 2017.

Made in collaboration with Daan Roosegaarde and his Studio Roosegaarde, Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment, Rijkswaterstaat, Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, De Nieuwe Afsluitdijk, Province of Friesland, and Province of North Holland. Development Partners: KitePower, Wageningen University & Research (WUR), TTB, Eurocarbon, Versalume.


    • Valentina Ieva

      Valentina Ieva


      Bari / Italy

      Laureata in Ingegneria edile-architettura, giornalista per professione, web writer per diletto. Amante di architettura, design, fotografia e libri di carta. Dipendente dai social, Instagram e InstaStories su tutti. Affamata di vita, viaggi e storie da scoprire. Qualunque forma d'arte mi affascina da sempre e non posso pensare una vita senza: emozioni forti, immaginazione, buona musica, cucina pugliese, sole e gatti. Per dirla con le parole di Battiato, non potrei vivere senza: ‘un soffio al)