RAUM is the organization that is responsible for the art and design program on the 65.000 sqm Berlijnplein, that is situated on top of the tunnel. The Berlijnplein and the district of Hoge Weide exists largely by the grace of the tunnel over the A2, as the tunnel ensures that the district is a single entity, free from nuisance of speeding cars on the motorway, and connects the area seamlessly to the rest of the city.
The light installation OPEN HIGHWAY makes the hidden highway visible again and shows that you can make something beautiful out of something intrusive (many cars, noise, exhaust fumes, etc.), a work that translates the traffic flows into a powerful image. It is the first layer in the new history of this neighbourhood.
The installation itself consists of 14 eleven meter long light bars whose shape and placement corresponds exactly to that of the two-times three lanes of the A2 that is below the work. Seven bars face towards Den Bosch (front white light, back red light) en seven bars are faced towards Amsterdam.
In the nearby RAUM pavilion hangs a large screen that visualizes the real-time traffic data with detailed speeds and capacity of the highway and functions as an explanation for the project.
We use a single Intel NUC, 4G Mobile Hotspot, DMX controllers, linear actuators and 270 meter of water resistant led strips. Every 60 seconds we download and parse the latest state of traffic behaviour relevant to the location. The public available data we download is provided by the Nation Database of Road Traffic(NDW). The received speed and capacity values per lane will then be brought together in a 1 to 1 simulation model programmed in OPENRNDR. Followed by a direct signal over DMX to control the LED lights and actuators.
The work is life-size (scale 1: 1) and spectators can walk through the lights and explore the space freely. A sound component reinforces the desired effect, in the form of a linear actuator that taps the metal of the beam. Sound that moves through space works very powerful and arouses the suggestion that vehicles drive through space. In each light segment a linear actuator is installed, which simultaneously gives a physical "tap" to the metal of the H-beam. As a result, the sound moves in space, parallel to the light. The sound is reminiscent of vehicles that ride over ripples on the road.