“(…) His final design naturally went further than illuminating the building. In his view, the building being situated beside the motorway, it had to be able to communicate with passers-by and to respond to events in the city through pixel lines integrated in the architecture and the option to change colour (…) ”

“(…) His final design naturally went further than illuminating the building. In his view, the building being situated beside the motorway, it had to be able to communicate with passers-by and to respond to events in the city through pixel lines integrated in the architecture and the option to change colour (…) ”

	

waalkwijk-geemente

The question if we wanted to cooperate in a design for the lighting of our new town hall as his master graduation assignment was the reason for my introduction to Arjen. His broad work experience with available techniques and fixtures had clearly unleashed a true passion for the creative application of light.

His final design naturally went further than illuminating the building. In his view, the building being situated beside the motorway, it had to be able to communicate with passers-by and to respond to events in the city through pixel lines integrated in the architecture and the option to change colour. Linking control via software to things such as social media, polls or even the weather, means that the building can be experienced differently every time. By choosing ‘wet blue’, the light blue of chrome-tanned leather, as base color, a complete lighting concept evolved inspired by the rich history and still flourishing leather and shoe industry of Waalwijk and the Langstraat. This can thus be used as a unique selling point and support the ambitions in the economic, ecological and social field, such as making the central area more attractive for visitors. The foundation for (partial) realisation was laid with an exhibition in the town hall, where various light artworks created by him could also be seen. Council members were inspired by his enthusiasm and a starting budget became available. From that moment we have been working together intensively to further expand the concept. The ease with which Arjen switches between vision, concept and implementation means that we can work flexibly and effectively. Not only useful but also necessary if you want to win more and more parties for the project.

For the opening of their new regional office, Rabobank had Arjen design a projection on a number of monumental workers’ houses in the adjacent city garden. The (wet blue) lighting plan for the atrium of their office was already made by him and the exterior facades have since been added. This made the wet blue core in the center a fact, which is now being further developed through a partnership between the municipality, Rabobank and the Center Management Foundation. Arjen is still on board as a driving force and inspiration. Five selected projects are on the agenda for this year and in the fall we will temporarily put some of Waalwijk’s icons ‘in the blue’ again as a catalyst. Upshifting with an app for the route comes in sight. Connecting more objects together in the coming years to strengthen the economic and cultural-historical impact and charge gives the involved parties energy.

Lex van Gent – Program Manager city centre for the Municipality of Waalwijk