Architect Ivo Pavlik created this gateway overlooking a nuclear power station in the Czech Republic by casting concrete between hay bales then setting them on fire.
Called The Cross-Gate, the structure in Dukovany stands at the end of a path leading from a cemetery, in front of a tree.
The ends of one wall and the lintel are gilt to create a cruciform.
Here's some more information from Pavlik:
The idea is to return a cross back to the landscape, to the place where it had always been.
The cross is part of the gate which carries its own meaning and new symbolic - it’s an imaginary border between life and death.
It’s a place behind which it’s possible to get dispersed, in the east-west direction. To walk through the gate means to get “to the other side“ where we can contemplate..
It’s possible to get dispersed in the landscape. It’s not a small dispersive meadow, but, first of all, an act of the walk-through.... It’s not possible to see over the gate due to a tree.
The gate is related to a cemetery, it’s connected to a path from the cemetery which has always existed there. But there is no path behind the gate?
The walls and the lintel was casted of concrete into boarding of straw bales, which was burned at 1 pm, on the 10th of January, 2010.
New structure and color of the walls came to existence, because of fire. Also bales hanged to ash. Eastern side of the wall, which is creating cross with the lintel, was gilded by pieces of laminar gold. The cross is done by this events.
We are entering into the space formed by the left wall, there is a horizontal lintel on the wall which is by its half inserted into the other vertical wall with which it forms a cross (there used to be a cross there but was moved away 4 years ago, now it’s coming back).
The lintel is gilded. The lintel creates with its location an idealized prehistoric dolmen. There was a settlement in Paleolithic nearby, and many tools of prehistoric people were found there.
A part of the cross‘ upper wall, which is behind the tree, is cut out and enables sitting under the tree and we can place a candle or flowers to it.
If we want to come to it, we must pass the tree. The tree makes it impossible to see through the gate and to move directly.
The cross itself is readable only from the front side. It’s also visible from the rear where the other wall is aligned with the tree.
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While sitting on the “bench“ under the tree, our view is southward into the open landscape or northward toward the town and the path which took us here.
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author: Ivo Pavlik architect
Ivo Pavlik, Lucie Chytilova, Dana Novakova architects
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