credits: Team Particle Plan


The Particle Plan, a collaborative project between four Dutch studios with various disciplines in the creative industry, developed the winning concept for a permanent interactive light installation that will illuminate the famous Chapel Bridge in Lucerne.
For many years, one of the most prominent touristic attractions in Switzerland disappeared from the stage by night blocking the stunning view on the city skyline.
‘We urgently need light on the bridge!’ acknowledged a group of prominent Lucerne representatives. They founded a project group and set up an international contest amongst architects, artists and lighting specialists, to find a unique plan that illuminates the bridge in a way, which satisfies the needs of the increasing flow of intercontinental tourists. Yet at the same time do justice to the historical character of the city and its culturally aware citizens. Last July, the jury choose The Particle Plan as the winner of the competition.

Posted 25 September 2014

Share this:

The winning concept
The creative team noticed that crossing the bridge is something special. It connects to the history of not only the bridge, but also the city of Lucerne. Crossing the bridge is an act that should be seen from outside, and experienced in a special way while walking over the bridge. With The Particle Plan the Chapel Bridge becomes a public stage. A stroll over the bridge will generate every time a unique pattern of light on the bridge – illuminating the distinct particles the bridge is constituted of, as a canvas.
In this manner we also highlight how the bridge, built in 1333 is being kept alive as a concept whilst its hand-crafted parts are continuously being rejuvenated.

Credits: Team Particle Plan

The process
The Particle Plan is inspired by the beautiful peculiarities that the Dutch team members came across, while studying all different aspects of this historical wooden footbridge, but is also based on its function in the present and its past, seen from different perspectives. The concept is developed with a great respect towards the historical and natural background and honours the individuality of the environment.
Besides the function of illumination, the intention of the project is to reconnect the people of Lucerne, inhabitants as well as tourists, with the bridge and give them ‘acte de presence’ in the revived nocturnal city centre.
A huge interactive play
By illuminating the bridge based on the activities of the passers, we implement the concept of an interactive play on the enormous scale of several 300 meters long, which is a novelty. The behaviour and position of people will directly influence the play of light on the wooden roof and body parts on the outside of the bridge. From a distance it will be obvious if there are few or many people walking on the bridge, if they run or stand still. The light projection will follow their movements, their place and their intensity. The people on the bridge will notice their influence on their
environment and are invited to play with this aspect.
The ritual of the illuminator
A daily ritual will be the moment that the lights are lit on the bridge. At a time determined by sunset, one visitor of the bridge, unconscious of his special role, will be the chosen person that activates the light that night for the first time. This principle refers to the genesis period of the bridge, a time in history when electric light did not exist and every night the street was lit with fire by a person called the illuminator of the city. Every night this will be the start of a spectacle that remains poetic and will
make each touristic picture of het Chapel bridge unique.
Illuminated particles
The Chapel Bridge is composed of unique crafted wooden elements. Every individual element has been replaced, since its first construction in 1333, while the bridge as a whole stands tall. Entire books are written in detail about all these handmade components and although during a regular stroll over the bridge one would not necessary notice, each particle is a one of a kind.
The Particle Plan is based on the principle that each individual particle of the bridge can be illuminated selectively and will play a role as a pixel in a light animation.

The experience from the bridge itself
The historical paintings that are part of the interior of the bridge will only be illuminated in the places and moments where someone is present. Sufficient light will be provided to ensure the safety of visitors, but at the same time it is also important that the view of the historic city center from the bridge is not blocked by an excessive amount of light from within. The light from the projector is adjusted so that it does not shine in the eyes of visitors. People crossing the bridge will be aware of the fact that they evoke a performance because of the light that shines through the wooden
planks on the floor of the bridge, and in this way will have an influence on their environment.
Colour by nature
Perhaps a coincidence of nature, but the beautiful colours of the moss and the weathering by algae on the wooden bridge, were noticed by the team as an element to cherish and lead to the decision to use only natural white light to illuminate the particles. In this way the natural and seasonal changing colours of the bridge will paint the atmosphere of the light play, in the day and night time.

Unique technological innovation
This concept is unique and was originally created by the team Particle Plan in the context of this competition. The development of the game engine for the interactive light animations underlies the innovative nature of this project. A permanent installation with so many projectors on this scale has never been seen before. Novel sensing methods will be used to sense activity on the bridge. This is then translated into light patterns that are generated in real time.
With the aid of the latest lighting and projection systems, it is possible to illuminate the exact shapes of the various bridge particles. Each individual technique used within The Particle Plan has been around long enough to prove itself as reliable, but the combination of these techniques and how they are used is new.
Ultimately, The Particle Plan is not about technology, but about creating a beautiful poetic project, that can be truly enjoyed by the people of Lucerne and which will be able to develop itself in the future to the needs of the city.
Intelligent interactivity
The light animations that will be developed for The Particle Plan are not pre-recorded films that start playing when someone enters the bridge. An advanced computer links all the projectors and sensors together and generates an algorithm in response to the presence of the people on the bridge. This animation is interactive and intelligent. It will always make its own choice within the framework that the creative team has designed. And therefore will be different every time. It can be compared to a computer game, but in the reality of a city environment with real actors.
Natural habitat
The Chapel Bridge is part of a natural habitat. In certain months protected bats and Alpen Siegler live between the wooden beams and fish and swans houses in the waters underneath. The flowers hanging from its sides in summertime, will affect the attraction of bees and other insects as well as the tourists. With the seasons, the nightly animated projections will also change and adapt to the atmosphere and environmental needs in the interest of the inhabitants. As a result, unnecessary light spill will be prevented and the light will be programmed to never interfere with the
personal living space of the animals.
Poetry the year round
Team Particle Plan focuses on poetic animations, that reflect the seasons and special cultural and typical events that Lucerne is known for. Christmas time and important events will have their own program. These first light performances will be developed under the art direction of team Particle Plan. Part of the concept is that in the future, also other people can submit ideas for animations. In this way, the bridge will continue to hold a current and active role in the city. But always within the concept of illuminated bridge-particles, that are used as animated pixels in the
interactive light show performed by the people of Lucerne themselves.
The winning team
Team Particle Plan is a collaboration between four creative studio’s based in the Netherlands. Each of them is known for its innovative approach and individuality in coming up with progressive ideas and solutions to complex situations. Every member has its own experience in the execution, organisation and production of complex technological or environmental projects on a large scale. Studio Drift explores the relationship between nature, technology and mankind.
Their work comes to life by continuing collaborations with scientists, research facilities computer programmers and engineers; the results are truly innovative and ground-breaking site specific artistic installations around the theme ‘light’ – a testament to the cross-pollination between the technically advanced, the aesthetically beautiful and awareness of future potentials. While their visual language is characterized by dreamy and poetic aesthetics, the concept behind the works is often based on an unexpectedly critical engagement.
video links to reference projects:
Fragile Future:Fragile Future FINAL 2014 on Vimeo
Shylight: Studio DRIFT at Luminale 2012
Flylight: Flylight at PAD Paris | Video | Studio Drift
DUS designs unique tailor made architecture with a global attitude, with a focus on community, design and technological innovation. The office has won the prestigious Amsterdam Awards for the Arts 2011 and was nominated ‘best Dutch architecture practice’ in 2012. To DUS, architecture is a craftsmanship, and all their work has a personal touch. As is shown by their most recent project, the 3D Print Canal House, which was recently viewed by U.S. President Barack Obama and is currently under construction in Amsterdam. The project is a research into how new digital fabrication techniques can lead to new smart housing solutions and affordable tailor-made architecture worldwide.

video links to reference projects:
3D Print Canal House:
Unlimited Urban Woods:
Digiluce builds on experience in academia and business to develop new technology for challenging (light) projects with leading designers. Digiluce acts as project developer, advisor, or scientific expert in unusual collaborations between art and science. Digiluce is best known for its collaborations with Studio Drift, with whom they developed a.o. Flylight, for fLUMENS, a co-development with OPENLIGHT, and for developing SWOOF technology with YUDO design.

video links to reference projects:
Flylight: Flylight in Moscow | Video | Studio Drift
Rombout Frieling makes matter move man.
As designer, engineer, researcher and entrepreneur, Rombout and his teams initiate multifaceted innovation processes. These uncover and address our pressing human needs by realizing novel and aesthetic solutions in which technology has a purpose.
Next to the work with his studio and various spin-out companies, Rombout is also creative director of the Intelligent Lighting Institute at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), curator of the GLOW forum for light & architecture and Sir James Dyson Innovation Fellow at Royal College of Art London.

video links to reference projects:
More information:
Studio Drift
Asterweg 20 B1 
NL-1031 HN Amsterdam

Copyright © 2013-2019  Glass is more!        Copyright, privacy, disclaimer