Studio Roosegaarde develops Urban Sun UV light that clean public spaces of Coronavirus

Rotterdam based practice Studio Roosegaarde has developed a prototype for a new ultraviolet light (far-UVC) called Urban Sun, that proves to eliminate 99.9% of the Coronavirus.

Inspired by the sun and research based on multiple peer-reviewed journal articles authored by scientists from leading universities, the studio has created an elegant solution to encourage safer public gatherings. “The research shows that specific ultraviolet light (far-UVC) with a wavelength of 222nm can reduce the presence of viruses, including various strains of coronavirus and influenza, up to 99.9%.” Said Daan Roosegaarde, founder of Studio Roosegaarde.

Daan Roosegaarde
Daan Roosegaarde

The prototype developed by the studio shines a large circle of this far-UVC light into public spaces, cleaning those spaces of Coronavirus.

A working prototype of the Urban Sun was first unveiled alongside Rotterdam’s most iconic landmark. Since the UV light is invisible to the human eye, the designers incorporated yellow light to define the edge of the circle created by Urban Sun. The light is currently intended for use only at night for outdoor public gatherings.

Daan Roosegaarde
Daan Roosegaarde
Daan Roosegaarde

The studio has been researching the potential of using lights to eliminate viruses for many years. With the onset of COVID-19, it provided an urgency to develop the Urban Sun prototype. The light combines design with science to provide innovative solutions for people to meet and exchange safely without restrictions.

Daan Roosegaarde says, “​Suddenly our world is filled with plastic barriers and distance stickers, our family reduced to pixels on a computer screen. Let’s be the architects of our new normal and create better places to meet and interact.”

Urban Sun is created by Roosegaarde’s team and external experts and scientists from the Netherlands, the US, Japan, and Italy.

The project is still in the development phase, and further experimentation and deployment will provide a valuable learning curve to understand its site-specific adaptability.



As the social design lab, Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde and his team of designers and engineers connect people and technology in artworks that improve daily life in urban environments, spark imagination and fight the climate crisis. We create dreamscapes for the liveability of our future landscapes. Clean air, clean water, clean energy, and clean space are our new values. Light is our language.

Internationally acclaimed works include WATERLICHT (a virtual flood showing the power of water), SMOG FREE PROJECT (the world's first largest outdoor air purifier which turns smog into jewellery), SMART HIGHWAY (roads that charge throughout the day and glow at night), SPACE WASTE LAB (visualising and upcycling space waste) and now world's first URBAN SUN which cleans public spaces of the coronavirus.

Roosegaarde’s mantra 'Schoonheid’ is a Dutch word with two meanings: ‘beauty’, that comes from creativity; and ‘clean’, which comes from clean air and clean energy. For Roosegaarde this should be a fundamental condition in daily life.