Saturday, March 24, 2007

Art in concrete

Question: Am I willing to drive several miles into the wilderness just to look at some letters? Answer: yes, especially when those letters were poured in concrete in the 1920's. The text is a bit faded, but it is still decipherable. If you know that the words for "radio" and "station" are exactly the same in Dutch and in English, you'll have absolutely no problem reading the name of the building.
In between the words are two figurines, the left one with distinct oriental features, the one on the right with caucasian looks. The face in between symbolises the Aether, the medium in which radio waves travel. The artwork can be found above the entrance to the main building of the Kootwijk radio station which was built to have a wireless communication with the colonies at the other side of the earth. Before 1923 the communication went through cables but in the 1st world war these were sabotaged and eavesdropped on. The Dutch government decided that a wireless solution was necessary. The result was a huge building made from reinforced concrete, so to speak in the middle of the desert. Actually it was a heather landscape, and it still is, as you can see on the second picture.

I do not plan to make these characters into a font, I just wanted to show them to you.

1 comment:

Tango said...

What a magnificent piece of Art Deco. I can't imagine NOT being inspired to create a font around it!

Thanks for sharing.