Square island in the lake (1996) Frans de Wit

photo BKOR archive
About the artwork

Square island in the lake is a large monumental work of art created by artist Frans de Wit. It marks the historic lowest point in the Netherlands, which is more than 7 meters below NAP. It is an artificial island measuring 52 x 52 meters and it consists of a concrete shell with a diameter of 28,5 meters. The island is connected to the banks by two bridge sections. Due to the proportions of dimensions and the physical presence, the artwork balances the area. The image carries the basic characteristics of the most primary human order, a shell shape on a square base. The shell shape is taken from an Etruscan ashes urn. In the center of the constellation of square and circle is a square hole, which marks the historically lowest place in the Netherlands. Due to the different heights of the beams, the sloping position of the shell, the rotation of the beams in relation to the walkway and the constantly changing background, the visitor is always offered a different image. Frans de Wit developed this image in close collaboration with municipal services, the (former) district of Prince Alexander, investors and contractors. This work of art thus became a pinnacle of the urban development of the Prinsenland. In 1988 the development of this residential area in the Rotterdam district of Prins Alexander began. This architectural sculpture refers to the civil-technical history of the Netherlands and of Rotterdam, in particular, of making and keeping land (dry), 'at the lowest point'. It is an urban variant of the classic monument. This work forms along with it Sculpture monumentCaland 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 - there, 2004) studied from 1960 to 1965 at the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague and was part of the so-called Hague School. Using rudimentary imagery, he formulates a universal story of all times and cultures, of man and nature. His monumental sculptures - in Spaarnwoude and in Prins Alexander - are functional, visual and narrative.

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