The Bridge’s a Stage

A team of four Dutch creative studio's (DUS, Studio Drift, Digiluce and Rombout Frieling) has won the pitch to create one of the largest permanent interactive light installations in the world, for Switzerland’s most important landmark, the 'Kapellbrücke' in Lucerne.

The historic Kapellbrücke (Chapel Bridge) in Lucerne dates from 1333 and is one of the most prominent tourist attractions in Switzerland. An international contest requested for a unique and inspiring lighting scheme that illuminates the bridge at night, while respecting the historical and rich cultural character of the city.

The winning proposal 'The Particle Plan' is inspired by the experience of people crossing the bridge and transforms the bridge into a public stage. The historic wooden bridge consists of unique handcrafted parts that, much like the cells in a human body, are continuously being rejuvenated, while the bridge as a whole remains. Each stroll over the bridge will generate a unique pattern of light on the outside of the bridge – selectively illuminating the individual particles the bridge. The colourscheme of the interactive lightinstallation is based on the beautiful natural material of the bridge (wood and mosses) and enhances its existing colours in natural white light.

The activity that is generated by visitors on the bridge is transformed into real time light patterns. The pedestrians will light their own path inside the bridge, but also create a beautiful roofscape - visible to spectators enjoying the view of the bridge from the riverbanks.

The Particle Plan will be one of the largest permanent interactive installations in the world. The game engine that creates the animation is a unique technological innovation and is especially developed for this project. It will be the first permanent installation in which such a large number of projectors and novel sensing methods will be used.

The winning team behind The Particle Plan is a collaboration between four creative studio’s based in the Netherlands, from a background in design, architecture, technology and innovation. All four of them have extensive experience in the design and implementation of poetic and technically complex projects in public spaces.

Client: IG Inszenierung Kapellbrücke/Wasserturm
In collaboration with: Studio Drift, Digiluce and Rombout Frieling
Program: interactive light installation for renowned ‘Kapellbrücke”
Location: Luzern, Switserland
Start project: 2014
Phase: Preliminary design - ongoing
Project team: Martine de Wit, Hans Vermeulen, Hedwig Heinsman