Under contract to the Minister for Infrastructure and the Environment, Melanie Schultz van Haegen, the designer and innovator Daan Roosegaarde is creating a unique design called the Afsluitdijk Icon. AT Osborne has been asked by RWS to provide assistance with this project.
This project aims to give a new appearance to the 32-kilometre-long dyke that will be strengthened over the next few years. Both the national and regional authorities are working with Studio Roosegaarde to increase the iconic value of the Afsluitdijk. With a subtle coating that combines light and dark, and the past and the future, Roosegaarde is increasing the dyke’s beauty and forging new links between man and landscape. The plans highlight the cultural history of the Afsluitdijk and contribute to increasing the value of the dyke as an (international) showcase for Dutch water management, innovation and Dutch design.
During the weekend of 2, 3 and 4 September 2016, Studio Roosegaarde put the first designs of the works for the 32-kilometre-long Afsluitdijk on display. During the evenings of 2 and 3 September, Roosegaarde displayed temporary works, including Waterlight – a Dutch form of northern lights which shows the power and vulnerability of living with water. Visitors could see from the Afsluitdijk just how far the water would reach without human intervention. At the same time, a further temporary exhibition was erected by Roosegaarde, showing a preview of the permanent works that will be created during 2017, such as Poort, Windvogel and Lijn (Port, Kite and Line). Finally, the Afsluitdijk Open was scheduled for the early morning of 4 September 2016: a unique, one-off race where a few dozen runners chase the sunrise in Friesland. Unfortunately, however, the event had to be cancelled due to bad weather.
AT Osborne is supporting RWS in making the Afsluitdijk Icon project a great success, and various employees from our office have been deployed in all kinds of roles. For example, we were closely involved in the creation of the agreement between RWS and Studio Roosegaarde, we are assisting the contract manager (together with the consultancy firm Significant) with the purchase of the various designs, we are providing legal assistance and we are responsible for the project management of this challenging undertaking. A real challenge for a project that is right at the heart of public interest.