We may earn a commission from links on this page.

Sixty historic floodgates in the Netherlands have gotten a futuristic and eco-friendly facelift. They now light up when cars pass by with their headlights turned on, illuminating the street with no energy and creating no light pollution.

Gates of Light was designed by Studio Roosegaarde as a way to use nature as a source of inspiration for energy and lighting solutions. Inspired by the reflective qualities of a butterfly’s wings, the structures are outlined with small prisms that reflect light.

The massive structures are on Afsluitdijk, a causeway that runs across a dam for an inlet of the North Sea. They were originally designed by the architect Dirk Roosenburg (who happens to be the grandfather of Remment “Rem” Koolhaas, the famous architect, architectural theorist and urbanist).

Gates of Light are part of a larger design innovation program, Icoon Afsluitdijk, commissioned by the Dutch government, which aims to make all national roads energy neutral by 2030. The studio is also working on prototypes of other nature-inspired solutions. Watch our video to find out more.