the light beacon on top of the disk | photo credits René de Wit


Light beacon, Stephenson viaduct

A network of hundreds of invisible persons - namesakes - are like a street or bridge present in a city (hodonymy). You walk through a writer, an engineer or under an inventor. In this case you walk, cycle or drive over or under a viaduct named after George Stephenson, the location for a new artwork. The business park where the viaduct is located is buzzing with activity and companies, it is functional. It is no coincidence here that a group of inventors are represented in the street names, like Watt, Pascal, Celcius and Edison to name a few. With this artwork I decide to add a functional interpretation and extra dimension to the namesake. Who was George Stephenson?

Stephenson (1781 - 1848) turns out to be a famous English engineer in the first half of the 19th century. He invented the first usable steam locomotive, he also designed the first safe mine lamp. He has been busy a lot with the track and has an important connection for rail tracks invented. In Manchester and Liverpool are bridges that bear his name. An inspiring person when it comes to technology.

The design has three starting points: the mine lamp, the level difference between the deck of the viaduct and the road underneath and my aim for a constructive challenge. Out of these findings and a derivative of the old viaduct construction the new light beacon has arisen. To make the location more challenging, I designed a new sheet pile branch. This disk disconnects from the viaduct but is connected to it. The light beacon clamps itself on top of this disk, a bird on a shoulder, and leans four meters lower against it. This is the centre of gravity in the construction. At the bottom of the viaduct and on top, the beacon is technically and visually challenging, a futuristic appearance that appeals to the imagination and adheres on the rhythm of the lanterns. In the industrial environment it is fresh and sharp and speaks an engineering language through the balancing construction. Because it is located on the sheet piling via the viaduct, it isin symbiosis with Stephenson, his host.

height: 9,62 m

width: 3,50 m

depth: 7.00 m

height from the pavement: 11,25 m

materials: steel, powder coating, perspex, light

weight: 6000 kg / 13.228 pounds

client: Municipality of Leeuwarden

advisor: Stichting Keunstwurk, Margaretha Cats

production: Koos Schaart Adventures, Frank Havermans

construction: Helldörfer Lasbedrijf en Scheepsbouw, Arnhem

location: Westelijke Invalsweg, Stephenson Viaduct, Leeuwarden

the light beacon and its infrastructural industrial surrounding | photo credits René de Wit

the light beacon clamps itself around the concrete edging of the sheet piling disk | photo credits René de Wit

photo credits René de Wit

photo credits René de Wit

it illuminates from dusk till down | photo credits René de Wit

the light beacon adheres to the rhythm of the lanterns | photo credits René de Wit

on streetlevel of the viaduct and on the viaduct toplevel, the beacon is technically and visually interesting | photo credits René de Wit

the light beacon leans against the sheet piling | photo credits René de Wit

the light beacon daytime | photo credits René de Wit

photo Studio Frank Havermans

George Stephenson and the invention of his mine lamp

KAPKAR / LB2-SV - 190 years later on George Stephenson shoulder

viaduct construction drawing, 1960

Construction Model

conclusion model

conclusion model

design model

design model

first model of the design

selection of models series 2

selection of models series 1