Gijs Van Vaerenbergh

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Harbor Castle

In the port of Stege, the largest town on the island of Møn in the South-East of Denmark, a steel framework construction proudly stands in the harbour. The construction is modelled after the Stege Harbour Castle that stood in the same location between 1910 and 1965 and is intended as a commemorative monument to its memory. This building served as a residence for the harbour’s master and a ferry passengers’ waiting room. The new construction functions as a meeting place for the inhabitants of Stege. A tarpaulin can be temporarily suspended in the structure to create a covered space. 

The Stege Harbour Castle was built as a timber frame construction. The new monument reinterprets this feature as a steel structure. It is conceived as a pragmatically optimized triangulated mesh, not unlike that of electricity pylons. The structure can be seen from the other side of the water and from a nearby bridge. From a distance, the many steel tubes blend together into a spatial line drawing that outlines a precise and detailed image of the building. Upon approaching the work, this aspect gradually changes, as the lines become more individually visible. When viewed from the front or inside the structure, the lines form an abstract pattern, framing the surrounding landscape.

The building is positioned in the exact location of the original building in a very particular place at the end of a dock, overlooking the small port. As such, the steel construction functions as a distinctive landmark in the harbour—just as the original Stege Harbour Castle once did. The installation is both very familiar and utterly alienating. Its image hovers between that of a virtual model of a building and a pristine construction site. The monument acknowledges the past by reinterpreting it.



Stege (DK)

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