This winter, from the 27th November to 18th January, Amsterdam will shine for the third Amsterdam Light Festival. For more than fifty days, the historical centre of Amsterdam will become a glittering showcase of light and movement.
Tjep. was commissioned to create a prominent light installation along the Amstel, near the heart of Amsterdam. The sculpture is called Light Bridge and will be placed on the last bridge of the Herengracht as it meets the Amstel, opposite of the Hermitage Museum.
Amsterdam has more than 1,200 bridges crossing the city's many canals and one can consider these structures to be the ultimate dynamic architectural element symbolising connection in the city. Bridges reflect the historical growth of Amsterdam and are often the most visually impressive points on every visitor's tour.
"We imagine this art installation as the celebration of two essential yet separated characteristics that define urban activity in Amsterdam - life on the streets and life on the waterways. Light Bridge is an ode to the special dynamics that take place in the city. Light Bridge also forms a celebration of the transformation from classic architecture (the old city center) to modern architecture (like the Eye and Stedelijk)." Says Frank Tjepkema.
The starting point for the design of the installation is current lighting used on many of the old Amsterdam bridges: a series of simple bulbs that outline the arches. Light Bridge transforms this simple element into a monumental, dynamic, and interactive intervention that both reflects the movement of boats on the water below and the movement on the street above. When there is no traffic, Light Bridge is animated with the reflections of water ripples: creating a subtle mirage of reflections echoing between the bridge and the water surface.
Visitors will be able to see the Light Bridge from the street, and also as part of the Festival boat route Water Colors, and the walking route Illuminade – this latter walk only runs between 11th December 2014 and 4th January 2015.
Date: November 2014
Design team: Frank Tjepkema, Yannic Alidarso, Jaro Kose, Michiel Huisjes
Production team: René Jamers from Bruns and Tom Aarts from Ata Tech.