The Gate (Normandy Square)

Normandiaplein, Sneek Sneek -plan route

The artwork The Gate was placed at the entrance to the Normandiaplein in 1992. It was designed and manufactured by Arie Berkulin, as a project of the Stichting Kunstprojecten Sneek, commissioned by the former municipality of Sneek. The Ministry of WVC, the province of Friesland, Nieuwe Weme and the housing association Patrimonium provided subsidies. The artwork is an idiosyncratic filling in of the gap in the façade wall along Leeuwarderweg, which was left after Normandiaplein was converted into a shopping area and parking lot.

The Gate was unveiled on Friday, May 22, 1992, by Alderman Mrs. N. Weenink-Van Oort. The artwork is about eight meters high and four meters wide. It is made of Corten steel. To find an artistic interpretation for the hole at the entrance to the Normandiaplein, the Stichting Kunstprojecten Sneek held a competition in which three artists participated. Arie Berkulin's design was chosen because of its spatial appeal to the surroundings.

'It transforms the negative hole in the building into a positive indication of the entrance to the square, in a powerful, sober, but in any case convincing way,' said the jury. The gateway appears to be skewed. This twisting in relation to the building line reinforces the independence of the artwork and of the entrance to the square. The backward inclination of the gate was judged by the jury to be an invention "given the symbolism that a gate conveys. Important in designing a work of art at the entrance to Normandy Square, was the old chestnut tree that had stood there since time immemorial and, above all, should remain. The chestnut was reinforced by three historical trees from the grounds of the former nursing home Nij Nazareth on the corner of the Leeuwarderweg and the Sytsingawiersterleane.