by James Taylor-Foster, ArchDaily
Photos © Studio Roosegaarde
Waterlicht (or ‘water light’) is a new light installation which has temporarily transformed Amsterdam’s Museumplein into a “dream landscape” expressing both the power, and the poetry, of water. The shifting shapes and liquid movement of the artwork also have a very real purpose: like a virtual flood, the level of the lights show how high the water could submerge Holland and parts of The Netherlands without constant human intervention. The installation highlights how innovation in engineering, something which is embedded “within the DNA of the Dutch landscape” of polders and dikes, has been “almost forgotten.” The nation’s vulnerability against the power of the oceans is pertinently expressed in this experiential urban intervention.
The creation of Daan Roosegaarde, an artist known for his inventive light installations, Waterlicht ”consists of wavy lines of light made with the latest LED technology, software and lenses.” It was initially created for the Dutch Waterboard Rijn & IJssel in Westervoort, before taking residence in the heart of the Dutch capital. According to Roosegaarde, “Waterlicht shows how The Netherlands looks like without waterworks. Innovation is seen throughout our landscape, pushed by the waterworks and our history, but yet we almost seem to have forgotten this.”
There are plans afoot to take the technology to other locations in The Netherlands.