Centrale As

  • Lighting design for a new road in a rural area, keeping the road as much dark as possible.
  • Keeping the traffic safe, whilst preventing lighting pollution and preserving darkness at night.

In the rural northern area of Friesland the nocturnal darkness is considered to be a spatial quality, adding value to the environment. For the new road N356, a course of 24km including additional connecting side roads, we were asked to deliver the lighting design, in close collaboration with NEXT Architects.

We first examined whether lighting was even needed, or if it may be better to remain the darkness.

We only lit the road where necessary, for social safety and road safety, like roundabouts, where bicycles and cars interact, carefully assessing the placement of the lighting. At roundabouts we placed one central lamppost, not only for functional purposes, but also forming an iconic landmark and beacon. Where cyclists and cars intersect, we used small additional poles to attract attention to the cyclist.

In other areas we used reflection of the cars headlights as mean to light the road.

The design takes the time into account which the human eye needs to adjust to different lighting levels, as well as the impact of the lighting to the natural surrounding habitat. We prevent lighting pollution and preserve the darkness at night.


  • Centrale As. Credit ©Ronald TillemanOpen gallery

    We kept the road as dark as possible preventing lighting pollution and to preserve the darkness at night. Photography: ©Ronald Tilleman

  • Centrale As. Credit ©Ronald TillemanOpen gallery

    At the roundabaouts we placed one central lamppost as an iconic landmark and beacon.