Square island in the lake (1996) Frans de Wit

BKOR archive
About the artwork

Square island in the lake is a large monumental work of art made by artist Frans de Wit. It marks the historic lowest point in the Netherlands, which is more than 7 meters below the NAP. It is an artificial island of 52 x 52 meters and it consists of a concrete depth dish with a diameter of 28,5 meters. The island is connected to the shores with two bridge sections. Due to the proportions and the physical presence, the artwork brings the area in balance. The image bears the basic characteristics of the most primary human order, a scale on a square basis. The dish shape is derived from an Etruscan axis urn. In the middle of the constellation of square and circle is a square hole that marks the historically lowest place in the Netherlands. Due to the different heights of the beams, the inclined position of the bowl, the rotation of the beams in relation to the walkway and the constantly changing background, the visitor is offered a different picture each time. Frans de Wit developed this image in close collaboration with municipal services, the (former) borough of Prince Alexander, investors and contractors. This work of art thus became a crowning glory on the urban development of Prinsenland. The development of this residential area in the Rotterdam district of Prince Alexander began in 1988. This architectural sculpture refers to the civil engineering history of the Netherlands and of Rotterdam in particular of making and keeping land (dry) at the lowest point. It is an urban development variant of the classical monument. This work forms together with it Sculpture monument, Caland monument and the GJ de Jongh monument a collection of water management works in Rotterdam. In 2016 is Square island in the lake included in the collection of Sculpture International Rotterdam.

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About the artist

Sculptor and landscape architect Frans de Wit (Leiden, 1942 - 2004) studied from 1960 to 1965 at the Royal Academy of Visual Arts in The Hague and was part of the so-called Hague School. With rudimentary visual language, he formulates a universal story of all times and cultures, of people and nature. His monumental sculptures - in Spaarnwoude and in Prince Alexander - are functional, visual and narrative.

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