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A new life for the Hofbogen railway

In 2018, the municipal authorities of Rotterdam, Havensteder housing cooperative and Stipo (a multidisciplinary urban strategy and development consultation team) launched an ideas competition for improving an area in the North of Rotterdam.

It was here that the Hofbogen railway line was constructed between 1904 and 1908 to connect Rotterdam to the Hague and the beach at Scheveningen. The elevated railway ran along a concrete viaduct, whose vast arches allow vehicular and pedestrian traffic to circulate underneath. In 2017, the long history of this rail service came to an end and the rails and overhead power lines were removed.

In 2019, however, “Trace of Passing”, an urban lighting initiative involving both the BeersNielsen and Studio Arntzen design companies completed the lighting for the first of the various areas on the old line indicated in the project. The design concept is based on the idea that, as the old railway lines have been removed, a sense of what was once here could be reconstructed using light. Juliette Nielsen and Paula Arntzen, therefore, wanted to find a luminaire that would create parallel light lines inside the arches to recall the rails that once ran along the top of them. And for this linear effect, the Trick projector with its 180° light blade optic proved to be the perfect solution. Its 9 cm diameter also meant it could be installed on top of the pavement bollards located in the subways. By improving the atmosphere in this district, which was previously decidedly uninviting, especially at night, this project has succeeded in turning Hofbogen into an extremely pleasant part of the city.

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  • Year
  • Client
    The City of Rotterdam
  • Lighting project:
    Studio Arntzen
  • Photographer
    Mario Tordini

Products Used: