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Van Gogh-Roosegaard Path, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Issue 82 December / January 2014 : Architectural : Transport

Dann Roosegaarde labelled the ‘hippie with a business plan’ by the arts press in his native country, has paid tribute to Vincent van Gogh in his latest project, a bicycle path inspired by one of his greatest paintings.

Dann Roosegaarde has a long history of producing projects that thrill and inspire. Be it the sparkling sensitivity of the Lotus dome or the inventiveness of his new smog-busting project in Beijing.

Roosegaarde’s latest project, involved the creation of a bicycle path in honour of Vincent van Gogh, another Dutch artist who bears just a little more than a passing resemblance to Roosegaarde in the flesh.
The path, which comes to life at night in light was inspired by Van Gogh’s famous ‘Starry Night’ painting and is the first event in a planned year long programme of events to mark the 125th anniversary of the painter’s death.

Roosegaarde teamed up with Heijmans Infrastructure to create the 1-kilometre-long van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path, which opened in the city of Eindhoven on November 13.

The path will be illuminated by thousands of twinkling LED stones that mirror the same colours used in the painting by van Gogh.

“The piece creates a play on light and poetry,” says Roosegaarde. “I wanted to create a place that people will experience in a special way, that combines modern technicality with experience, that’s what techno-poetry means to me.” The path has since become a meeting point and a popular location for a first date.

The cycle path forms part of the van Gogh cycle route that connects the Vincent van Gogh heritage locations in Brabant, van Gogh’s homeland where the world-famous artist produced his first masterpiece, The Potato Eaters in Nuenen. The area also boasts the Opwettense and Colse watermills that feature in his paintings. From November the new cycle path will link the two watermills, bridging the gap between contemporary design, innovation, cultural heritage and tourism in Brabant.

With the completion of the Van Gogh-Roosegaarde cycle path, the area of Brainport East will gain the impulse to develop as a country park.
The partners involved in this have jointly invested €700,000 in this innovative cycle path. Half of this, a subsidy from the province of Noord-Brabant, forms part of a 19 million euro investment in the area that will function as the green heart of the region.


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