AMSTERDAM – A permanent light installation is the main feature of two refurbished 1980s gas stations. Evert Verhagen, project manager of Amterdam North’s new Noorderpark, saw an opportunity in the neglected buildings and asked Amsterdam-based French architect Sophie Valla to turn them into cultural centres. According to Valla, ‘the new light installations turned the derelict buildings into colourful structures, creating an instant landmark for both drivers riding on the nearby highway and the park crowd.’

Sixty textile panels made of advertising fabrics were cut to various sizes to meet the dimensions of the structure of the gas stations roofs. Each panel that comprises the 10 by 40 meters artificial sky forms a LED-like screen that can be programmed independently.

Twenty 30 minutes long light animations make up ‘fluctuating skies – inspired by nature but generated with technology – that lead us through bright and stormy days from sunrise to sunset,’ as the architect explains.

Concrete floors and furniture help make up this ‘conspicuously stylish urban spot’ which Valla hopes will ‘appeal to neighbouring youths’.

Images courtesy of Marcus Koppen