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Willemsbrug in Rotterdam
Hollands Golden Gate Bridge

With it’s impressionable maritime flair, trendy architecture, artistic and cutural stronghold, people come from all corners of the world to meet up here, in Rotterdam. Since March 2018, Europe’s largest seaport has been enriched by yet another attraction: The “Willemsbrug“  – one of Rotterdam’s three largest bridges which span the New Meuse, has certainly made a name for itself as Holland’s “Golden Gate Bridge”. The lighting technology used to impressively illuminate it’s pylons, foundations and the bridge’s framework, was supplied by Insta in two construction phases.

The „Willemsbrug“ (engl. Willems Bridge) – supported by two pylons, is a 356 metre long cable-stayed bridge that links the city centre to “Noordereiland“ island. In 2016, Rotterdam’s borough commissioned Insta with the first construction phase which was to illuminate the pylons and foundations. To illuminate the pylons – three sides per pylon leg were to be lit up – we relied upon combining two of our lighting technology multi-talents, both of which guaranteed a maximum lighting intensity and a targeted accentuation within the smallest of construction spaces: instalight 3050 and instalight 1065. Eight special spots (3050) in narrow beam 10°- and wide angle 30°- variants, as well as two façade spotlights with asymmetrical wallwash optics (1065) provided for a uniform illumination. By equipping the lighting with warm white and red LED’s, the lighting colour for each pylon leg could be separately adjusted and thus perfectly adapt to the bridge’s paintwork. It was the customer’s wish that the foundations should likewise have an adjustable lighting system that was just as harmonious and radiant. The ideal solution proved to be a combination of a 210-metre length of the fine LEDLUX LN lightline in neutral white and the slender instalight 4010 stainless steel profile with an integrated 5°- optic. The profile in which the LED-lightline was mounted, came as a special edition with an individually adjustable assembly frame which the customer particularly liked. At night, this role model from Insta’s lighting range, highlights the prominent architectural character of the bridge’s foundations whilst during the day is hardly noticeable – and this - was only the beginning: after completing the installation in 2016, it had to be completely dismantled in 2017 due to bridge repairs only to be reassembled again in 2018.

Rotterdam’s Golden Gate Bridge

In 2018, the second phase followed, which was even a greater challenge for us: The entire lighting had to be focused on the lateral framework – with the least possible light pollution: this meant that no light was allowed to emit upwards into the sky. On top of this, the route on which a permanently installed maintenance car travelled along the bridge, left little room in which to install the lighting to the framework – a narrow opening of only 8 cm in width. As luck would have it, the maintenance car was predestined to do detailed work in tight spaces: With the car’s help, the LEDLUX LX linear lighting inserts, installed in the stainless-steel instalight 4010 profile with narrow beam 5°- optics – including flexible controllable lighting colour warm white/red, like the spots in phase one, were finally installed onto the framework of the supporting pylons’ spires. Due to the extensive installation work just under the bridge, the passage of shipping on the New Meuse had to be partially halted.

Today, the entire lighting on the Willems Bridge is managed by instalight Control. Glassfibre cables connect individual lighting sections with one another so that the lighting colour can be synchronised and centrally configured. The system can even be remotely managed via internet. And in the evenings, as the Golden Gate Bridge’s smaller sister makes herself known, that little something is added to the surrounding flair.