The Gates of Light project does not advertise itself as an attempt to reinvent the lamp. Launched in December 2017, it is part of a design celebration of a Dutch infrastructure icon – the 32 kilometer-long Afsluitdijk (literally, ‘cut-off dike’), which has helped protect the low-lying country from flooding since 1932. Along one section of the dike, 60 concrete floodgates loom over the busy multi-lane highway. Years of exposure to the sea air had left the towers looking unloved, so Studio Roosegaarde was commissioned by the Dutch government to renovate them.
The shiny Tron-like stripes not only improve the appearance of the imposing concrete structures, but they’re made from a specialist reflective material based on solid science.