It is rare that we get to see art and science combining to produce stunning results. Daan Roosegaarde has combined them in an innovative way and the results are amazing to say the least. He has created a solar powered bike path in Netherlands as a tribute to Van Gogh. The founder of Studio Roosegaarde has created a 600 meter path along the Brabant, Netherlands, with thousands of solar powered stones. The stones that illuminate by night have been arranged in swirling compositions which seem inspired by Van Gogh’s famous painting ‘Starry Night’. Roosegaarde believes that it is the most characteristic painting of Van Gogh and people are familiar with it.
Roosegaarde has presented the essence of the painting but given it a twist. He has used technology innovatively and embedded it within each colored pebble which has been set on the asphalt passageway. It is a solar power technology that charges the pebbles during sunlight hours and illuminates at night making the passage clearly visible to the cyclists. The site was chosen because Vincent Van Gogh lived there from 1883 to 1885. The purpose of making the pathway was to create a place that would give the visitors a special experience, an experience backed by technology. Roosegaarde believes that what he has created can be called techno-poetry.
The pathway connects points of interest in the area and its cultural heritage. It is a unique combination of cultural heritage with contemporary design in a landscaped installation for public use. People experience a ride across the bicycle path as if they are cycling through the ‘Starry Night’. Called the ‘Van Gogh – Roosegaarde Cycle Path’ it is the second installation under the glow-in-the-dark smart highway project. The idea behind the project is to build interactive and sustainable roads using light, energy and signage that interact with traffic. It is a prime example of how innovation and design go hand in hand with culture and recreation. Province of North Brabant, municipality of Eindhoven, Van Gogh Brabant, VisitBrabant, Eindhoven 365 and Routebureau Brabant have come together with Roosegaarde to create this innovative path.