The 33-metre-high beacon rises imposingly in the Haarlemmermeer Municipality, swaying above the landscape like an illuminated Star Wars lightsaber. The sword will be hoisted into its position on
Wednesday evening, 2 September 2015, after which the Wind Sword art object will be festively inaugurated on Saturday, 6 September 2015, at 16.30 hours. The location is the Deltaweg-Bennebroekerweg roundabout in Hoofddorp.
The Haarlemmermeer Municipality gave Buro Poppinga the assignment to create an art object for Floriande, a new residential area in Hoofddorp. The result is both a tribute to Haarlemmermeer and a special landmark for this neighbourhood. Theo Baart, a photographer who focuses on the changing Dutch landscape and the inhabitants of Floriande, will deliver a speech during the festive opening.
Symbol of the battle of rebels and wind power
The art object plays with the wind, which in earlier days raged across the waters of Haarlemmermeer and now across the polder. It also symbolizes the area’s history: the rebels who in 1573 valiantly fought against the Spaniards in the Battle of Haarlemmermeer, the high masts of their ships towering above the waves. But the sword also serves as a meteorological device which, illuminated at night, indicates the wind’s force and direction. The Wind Sword has a steel frame with an ingenious hinge. It is made of light, semi-transparent composite material. The compass rose on the roundabout consists of asphalt and thermoplastic.
Beacon for Floriande
Alderman Reneman is enthusiastic: ‘The Wind Sword gives Haarlemmermeer the opportunity to proudly celebrate its history and provides an impressive entrance to Floriande. Many of the residents leave their neighbourhood by car in the morning and only return in the evening. This work of art is a constant source of surprise because it moves in the wind and therefore presents itself from an ever-changing angle. At night, it serves as a beacon that guides its residents home.’
From sketch to scale
Wim Poppinga, founder of Buro Poppinga, finds it fascinating to design public spaces. ‘Together with a good team of engineers and builders we succeeded in translating the simplicity and beauty of a design sketch into a dynamic object of this scale, which hopefully will entice motorists to take an extra spin around this circular intersection.’