Bicycle Tunnel Leiden
Impressive artwork bicycle tunnel Leiden
M2uur bv has been commissioned by Comol5 to design, produce and install a work of art in the Hofweg bicycle tunnel in Leiden. One year later, the artwork was mounted and the tunnel reopened for cyclists and pedestrians.
Due to the widening of the A4 motorway, the bicycle tunnel has become over one hundred meters long. The tunnel was designed by architects Ernst van Rijn and Stephan Nierop of Rotterdam-based architectural firm wUrck. To increase social safety, skylights have been installed and space has been conceived for a unique work of art on the wall.
Municipality of South Holland & Comol5
Ernst van Rijn & Stephan Nierop, wUrck, Rotterdam
Tjeerd Vonk – M2uur bv
Steni Vision Custom
To bring cohesion to the long tunnel, a continuous panorama was chosen for the artwork. The panorama is a projection of the surrounding landscape. As a result, even in the tunnel, you continue your ride through the polder landscape.
Architect Stephan Nierop: “In preliminary discussions, we discussed various photographic techniques such as collaging and abstracting and said what we wanted in the image. Think of the typical polder allotment, ribbon buildings, dikes, cows, church towers and grass. Above all, looking between the eyelashes, we wanted a horizontal band with blue above, the sky, and green below, the landscape, with the horizon at eye level of the cyclists whizzing by. Eventually, after several photo shoots, it was decided that two contiguous panoramas worked best and fit the story we wanted to tell.”
A hundred-meter length
Photographer Tjeerd Vonk was commissioned by M2uur bv to take several panoramas of the typical Dutch landscape. The photographs have been incorporated into two grand panoramas of 40 and 60 meters in length. The images were reproduced on fiberglass reinforced stone composite panels by the Norwegian company Steni.
Says Vonk, “The challenge was particularly in the technical area; Creating a continuous high-resolution image in the right proportion. First, I did some tests to see what such an image looks like and from which spot I could best take the picture. Once the spot was determined, it was waiting for the right weather conditions. Nature came late last year, which meant I couldn’t do the assignment until June. Turbulence can be seen quickly over the landscape then because of the heat. To get ahead of the turbulence, the alarm went off regularly at five in the morning. In total, I photographed six times at different times. In the final image, fifty shots were stitched together, all taken in one take.”
After shooting the images, post-processing followed. Vonk: “Together with the architect, we asked ourselves what effect we could apply to make the image even more suitable for this particular spot. The tunnel is mainly used by cyclists. When you cycle through a landscape, you look at your surroundings differently than when you walk. Your eyes are more focused on the horizon, that part is sharp, while the part that is lower is more blurred. We wanted to enhance that dynamic feeling of cycling through a landscape in the panoramic image. We finally achieved this by stretching the image a little”.
The final result was received with great enthusiasm by local residents and users!
Bicycle Tunnel Leiden