Cubic Gate l'Arche

Cubes are a symbol of rigidity in the orthogonal system of architecture. Tumbling cubes of glass may serve as the breathing lungs of a building. In its early history, Amsterdam was only accesible by gates. Unfortunately, many of these gates have dissapeared. Some remain and still adorn the entrance to the city. The cubic gate in De Aker is a gift from four commissioners who wanted to symbolically give a historical reference back to the city! Each cube is 3x3x3 metres, and the whole structure is 20 metres high. The gate combines elegance, transparency, mass and spatiality. From an artistic viewpoint slender dimensions are best in order to achieve an apparently tenuous balance. This turns the sculpture into a technical tour de force.

Visually it seems almost a miracle that all these cubes can be piled on top of each other, while the whole remains stable. In general when one looks up from a distance or from underneath an object, there is a shift in perspective. By using only thinner tubes for the higher cubes in the gate this visual effect is heightened. Because all edges seen from various points present varying views, the fountain of cubes can be emphasised by lighting the whole in a special way. This intensifies the colour of the sculpture in the evening and at night, and at the same time a second, illusive image is created by the abstract play of twinkling lines. The most beautiful effect is achieved by slowly changing the intensity of the light. The cubic gate is blue and stands out strikingly against the arcade of houses, water and air. If one considers art 'a window in space' , then the cubic gate can be regarded as a 'gateway in space'.