Delfzijl is a harbour city on the Wadden Sea. Over the years, the industrial port had grown, becoming the most important for the north of the Netherlands but also resulting in the city being separated from the sea. The Marconi project was launched to restore the connection with the sea and develop a new cityscape that would improve the quality of life for the inhabitants and encourage sustainable tourism.
The existing seawall was relocated and elevated, creating room for a larger beach area and recreational facilities on and around the dyke. A pioneer salt marsh including a bird breeding island was also constructed along the coast.
This new area needed a lighting scheme that would create a safe and vibrant space where people would want to spend time at night, especially in the darker months. We worked with Delfzijl Council, the engineering consultancy InVra Plus and the lighting operator CityTec to create a lighting plan that would meet the brief and respect the strict requirements of the Dark Sky Programme of the Wadden Sea World Heritage Site.
The Wadden area is one of the darkest areas in Europe. Preserving this darkness is very important for both people and wildlife.
A unique luminaire to reflect local wildlife
A sustainable and aesthetic lighting scheme was needed for the renovated Venneplein plaza and car park as well as the new promenade and the new bridge, built to connect the city centre to the Wadden Sea.
Customised POSS luminaires, resembling a seagull, were developed and installed on Venneplein in a nod to these birds which live along the coast and can be seen to sit on top of street lights.
The 'De Zilvermeeuw' structure looks like a seagull with its shape and finish. The sun reflects off the lacquered coating, giving a beautiful shine that can be seen by all.
A sustainable light in the darkness
The new Diekloper Bridge is equipped with sustainable energy-saving LED lighting to guide people safely and create an attractive night feature. An LED handrail discreetly integrates the bridge railings to free up space and create a warm nocturnal ambiance.
PHAROS bollards were installed along the new promenade to ensure a safe passage, minimal disturbance for the local fauna and flora and zero light pollution for this 'Dark Sky World Heritage Wadden Area'.
SCULPFLOOD luminaires were installed on the pedestrian zone of the promenade, linking the car park to the beach. With plenty of seating available, they create a safe and pleasant spot for people to gather and admire the sea views after the sun sets.
All of the luminaires are designed to resist the harsh coastal climate, providing a low energy lighting solution over time, in line with the project’s sustainability requirements.
The new lighting perfectly integrates and reflects the robust environment of the port. I particularly like the new visibility given to Delfzijl mill from the Diekloper Bridge. It simply looks beautiful in the evening when the lighting is on.
Illuminated gateway to Wadden Sea
The redevelopment has completely transformed the city’s coastal landscape, improving the liveability, biodiversity and recreational facilities. The lighting for this new gateway, providing a seamless link between the city centre and the port, optimises the user experience and comfort while protecting the natural heritage of this protected zone.
Residents and tourists can now enjoy pedestrian and cyclist-friendly waterfront promenades in a wonderful nature reserve all year long.