Lonely Planet Writer

This lighthouse in Denmark will be a colourful kaleidoscope until it's reclaimed by the sea

In northwest Denmark, a century-old lighthouse has a colourful new lease of life as a kaleidoscope before it’s reclaimed by the sea.

 

Rubjerg Knude Lighthouse was built in 1900 outside the small town of Lønstrup but has been battling shifting sands and coastal erosion, making it increasingly difficult to safely direct ships. It was decommissioned in 1980 and transformed into the Sand Drift Museum detailing the region’s history.

The lighthouse as it stands now, the house attached almost completely covered by sand.
The lighthouse as it stands now, the house attached almost completely covered by sand. Image by Loenstrup.dk

The sand, however, continued to pile up and the building was abandoned in 1992 and the dunes have been allowed to “eat” the lighthouse. The house attached the lighthouse has been completely covered in sand and only the column of the lighthouse remains visible on the landscape. Now a new immersive art installation wants to transform the lighthouse into a kaleidoscope until it’s finally reclaimed by nature. The kaleidoscope lighthouse produces a stunning light show by harnessing the power of wind through a prism at the top of the tower. As the wind turns the prism, it captures light and reflection, casting it down the tower which has been stripped and lined with mirrors.

A close-up of the prism at the top of the kaleidoscope lighthouse.
A close-up of the prism at the top of the kaleidoscope lighthouse. Image by Jaja Architects

It’s part of a nationwide initiative to invite the public to experience some of the most unique and striking areas of the Danish landscape. Visitors are allowed in the lighthouse for limited time periods and can travel up to the top of the lighthouse to enjoy the panoramic views before the structure disappears forever.

Kaleidoscope lighthouse.
Kaleidoscope lighthouse. Image by Jaja Architects

The level of coastal erosion is being carefully monitored and when it’s deemed unsafe for the public, the installation and staircase will be removed and recycled. The installation began in March and will last as long as nature allows it.