The De Centrale As (N356) highway has a total length of 24 kilometers and is located between the cities of Dokkum and Nijega in eastern Friesland, the Netherlands. This area where the starry river can still be seen in the sky at night has become a unique presence in the highly urbanized suburbs of the Netherlands. NEXT and Arup have therefore adopted a unique design approach in the lighting design of this weathering steel
street light. They did not start from the road's need for light and the identifiability of space, but based on the darkness to question the necessity of road lighting.
The designer sees the road as an intruder in the field who illuminates the road with headlights. They use reflective facilities as reminders and signals to guide the road, and low-intensity lights are introduced only where necessary to ensure the safety of the vehicle. This measure not only greatly reduces light pollution on the road, but also reduces the discomfort caused by the driver due to glare.
The illumination of the lower part of the Princess Margriet canal at night is only 30% during the day. The drastically reduced light and dark contrast makes it unnecessary to add lighting facilities to its surrounding area. In areas such as vehicle interchange areas, low-brightness lighting has been used to ensure safety. For example, in the turntable area, multiple weathering steel lampposts stand like a lighthouse in the center of the turntable.
Designers not only focus on the functionality of lighting design. As the road passes through major landmarks, the light becomes a highlight in the mundane infrastructure. For example, the light design combined with the rusted expanded metal mesh when passing Doniawei has become the best reference for people to identify the orientation.
In addition to minimizing the ecological impact of lighting, the lighting design of weathering steel
street lamps jointly created by NEXT and Arup also minimized energy consumption, pipeline usage and construction costs, making De Centrale As a non-disruptive road The model of lighting design further promotes the integration of roads and landscapes.