If you combine technology, design, beauty and a dash of brilliance, you wind up with glow in the dark roads. And Netherlands is the proud pronouncer of this union.
Glow-in-the-dark road markings have replaced streetlights on a 500m (0.3 mile) stretch of highway in the Netherlands and they provide more than aesthetic imagery. These light absorbing luminosities use measurably less power than street lights.
The stretch of the N329 highway in Oss has debuted to widespread applause and curiousity. It is no wonder that this work won the creators Best Future Concept at the Dutch Design Award
One would suspect that these visuals would look mesmerizing. A fine assumption, confirmed straight from the horse’s mouth. “"It looks like you are driving through a fairytale," said a Netherlands news report.
In October 2012, Daan Roosegaarde, the studio's founder and lead designer explained what inspired this innovation."One day I was sitting in my car in the Netherlands, and I was amazed by these roads we spend millions on but no one seems to care what they look like and how they behave. I started imagining this Route 66 of the future where technology jumps out of the computer screen and becomes part of us."
His visualization doesn’t end at glow in the dark markings. Not even close. He envisions future roads with weather markings— for example snowdrops for when it’s really cold.
The road was fashioned by adding photo-luminescent powder into the road paint, developed in collaboration with road construction company Heijmans.