Singapore work for light festival

Rhizome House

DP Architects' Rhizome House is among the installations for the Amsterdam Light Festival next month

The slim Dutch canal house, and rhizomes - root-like subterranean stems - may seem like an unlikely pairing, but they were the inspiration for a light installation by home-grown firm DP Architects.

The installation is made up of supersized rhizome structures that look like they are entangled and lit up with colourful light diodes.

The entire structure is then encased in steel frames that are shaped like Dutch canal houses, which make it "appear to be trapped inside", says Ms Angelene Chan, 52, chief executive officer of DP Architects and its group of companies.

The 8.4m-long and 4.5m-tall installationis named Rhizome House and is also inspired by how animals build their shelters. It cost about $100,000 to set up.

Ms Chan says: "With its linkages and connections, Rhizome House represents the crossroads of art, science, humanity and nature."

With its linkages and connections, Rhizome House represents the crossroads of art, science, humanity and nature.

MS ANGELENE CHAN, CEO of DP Architects and its group of companies, on Rhizome House

It is now being shipped to the Netherlands and will make its debut at the fifth edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival. The eventruns from Dec 1 to Jan 22.

The show is known for its exhibits of stunning sculptures and artworks by artists, designers and architects around the city centre. This year, there will be more than 35 installations on display.

Visitors can view the works along two routes, each with a different theme and different installations.

On the Water Colours route, theywill cruise along the canals. The theme is A View On Amsterdam and artists share their interpretation of the Dutch city. The boat tours are ticketed.

Those who prefer to walk can opt for the Illuminade route, which is free and will take them through the Plantage neighbourhood in Amsterdam East.

The theme here is Biomimicry, the science of using logic and the structures of nature to solve human problems. Rhizome House will be along the Illuminade route - at the Hermitage Dock - and is the only selected Asian and Singaporean finalist entry for this year's festival.

It is also the first time DP Architects is taking part in a light show.

Visitors are encouraged to climb into the rhizome. As they work their way through the structure, the lights change colour whenever they detect movement.

There are no firm plans yet for Rhizome House to be displayed in Singapore, but DP Architects hopes to bring it back here to celebrate the firm's 50th anniversary next year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 05, 2016, with the headline 'Singapore work for light festival'. Print Edition | Subscribe