In the polder landscape of Kruibeke, a folded steel structure marks a pedestrian crossing on the ring dike. The folded structure sits on the hillside of the dike, perpendicular to it. The Corten steel sheets are cut out in the shape of arches, lending the structure its name.
The ring dike was recently constructed to shield the neighbouring village centres from spring tides. It was conceived as part of the SIGMA plan, which aims to protect the floodplains of the river Scheldt. In addition, the dike also has a recreational function as a raised bike lane that runs through the landscape. The upper surface of Arcade is kept horizontal, emphasizing the height of the artificial dike. The arcade construction is nested in the hillside, suggesting that this structure may already have been there before the dike.
Along its longitudinal axis, the structure is reminiscent of a gallery, a pathway covered with a series of arches. Perpendicular to it, as for instance cyclists might perceive it, the structure appears as a row of windows that frame the sky and landscape. Arcade stands as a beacon along this route, marking a spot, a passage, a moment.
The monumental object contrasts sharply with its natural surroundings. Up close, the structure appears tactile and firm with its 40mm-thick Corten steel plates. From a distance, on the other hand, the metal sheets appear paper-thin, their flatness infusing the work with a slightly surreal feel. As such, the object is reminiscent of playful paper models, but also of the surreal landscapes of de Chirico. As a remnant of a forgotten past, it continues to exist, firmly embedded in the landscape, just like the aqueducts and galleries in his paintings.
Agency for Nature and Forest
Polders of Kruibeke (BE)