Apeldoorn Station Tunnel
Artworks bring light into a dark tunnel
Visual artist Elspeth Diederix was commissioned to create a series of works for a new bicycle and pedestrian tunnel at Apeldoorn station. M2uur bv was engaged by Diederix to realize the artworks in this demanding environment. The works literally and figuratively bring light into the dark tunnel.
Elspeth Diederix, Municipality of Apeldoorn
Paul van der Ree, StudioSK – Movares
For Diederix, herself born in Kenya and raised in Colombia, the similarities between the jungle and a tunnel are apparent. They are both dark places, with seeping water and sparse patches of light. For this commission, she traveled to Costa Rica to build installations in the jungle where light and darkness clash. In them, she placed plastic objects that enter into a wondrous relationship with nature. This resulted in a dozen beautiful, photographic images. The series of works was titled “Selvatica Plastica,” or the plastic wilderness. They are intense images, full of mystery and beauty and often with a wink.
The works are situated in a bicycle and pedestrian tunnel under the railroad station of Apeldoorn. Truly a demanding environment. As a prominent connection between the center and the south side of Apeldoorn, increasing social safety is an important issue. Vandalism and graffiti are lurking. The works must be resilient and maintenance-friendly. In addition, some of the works hang in the open air and others in the covered area. Resistance to moisture, cold, heat and UV light is an important requirement. M2uur bv used these points of interest to search for suitable and affordable options.
High Pressure Laminate
In its search, M2uur bv arrived at high pressure laminate (hpl) with integrated prints. Images are protected under the outer layer of coating. This top layer is scratch-resistant and offers protection against UV light. The closed surface allows easy cleaning of graffiti and other contaminants. The solid boards are impact and shock resistant and have been used as wall and facade cladding for decades. Within the financial framework, Print-HPL was therefore the most suitable material.
M2uur bv is a specialist in the technical layout of designs into digital and reproducible files. For this project, the ten works by Diederix were divided and formatted to be reproduced on 50 panels of Print-HPL. Exterior quality panels were used but with a top layer for interior use. This top layer is, in fact, more transparent, so that the colors of the designs are affected as little as possible.
The Print HPL sheets were processed into ready-made panels in net size. Black-painted, wooden frames were installed in the tunnel. On these, the panels were invisibly mounted by gluing. In each work, one panel is removable and gives access to the transformer and lighting installation. All works are in fact equipped with LED lighting.
Because of the lighting all around, the works of art almost seem to float off the tunnel walls. A mysterious and fairy-like halo effect is created. They enhance the beautiful images that Diederix composed. The series of works create a sense of safety and security for the tunnel’s users. The project was completed in 2006, is still in good condition and continues to capture the imagination. A project to be proud of.
Apeldoorn Station Tunnel