UNStudio Eye_Beacon, Amsterdam Light Festival


Janus van den Eijnden,



Eye_Beacon, the information pavilion designed by UNStudio and MDT-tex for the fifth Amsterdam Light Festival, offers the perfect combination of image, communication and design. The pavilion’s hypnotic pulsating light is a great attraction for visitors, who can instantly spot it and therefore locate the ticket office and starting point for tours of the Festival.

UNStudio Eye_Beacon, Amsterdam Light Festival

UNStudio and MDT-tex drew their inspiration from the depths of the sea for the information pavilion at the Amsterdam Light Festival, designing an attractive, instantly recognisable beacon for visitors.

The theme of the 2016-2017 Dutch festival is “biomimicry”, which means designing objects and technologies inspired by biological and biomechanical processes in nature. As it serves to announce the event, as well as acting as the ticket office and fulfilling related functions, the information pavilion had to be easy for the public to spot. The architects of UNStudio and MDT-tex drew their inspiration from marine organisms which use bioluminescence to ensure that they will be visible even in the dark depths of the ocean.
The pavilion is a tensile textile structure made out of 250 panels of different sizes, a sculptural volume consisting of two connected cubes lit up from the inside with LEDs which change colour and intensity. Their hypnotic pulsating light acts as a beacon for visitors to the Amsterdam Light Festival, located by the Amstel River on the western side of the “Blauwbrug”, where the pavilion connects the two festival itineraries, “Water Colors” an itinerary to be travelled by boat along the city’s illuminated canals, and the “Illuminade”, an itinerary on foot through the historic centre of Amsterdam.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Project: UNStudio: Ben van Berkel + William de Boer, Rob Henderson & Piotr Kluszczinski
Partner: MDT-tex : Markus Müller with R&D-Team led by Dr. Shankar Jha
Lighting Supply and Installation: Zumtobel
Lighting Content Consultant: Florian Licht, Licht & Soehne

Location: Blauwbrug, Amsterdam, NL

Images courtesy of UNStudio Copyright Janus van den Eijnden