The eye-catching new entryway at the Military Hospital in Ostend exemplifies the intriguing interplay of handmade sculpture with existing structures that Belgian artist Nick Ervinck is known for.
Ostend lies on the North Sea where Ervinck found inspiration in its flora and fauna, as well as its timeless march across the shores. The biomorphic shapes within the door allude to hidden sea life, and the soft, undulating edges of the open spaces within the railings suggest natural erosion, like stones sculpted by the sea. Ervinck received a CoD+A Merit Award in part for his digital design skill in rendering the organically irregular shapes.
The shiny yellow of the doors is a tip of the hat to Renaissance sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gates of Heaven, which feature panels of glowing gold. The bright color and polyester construction of IMAGROD, when placed against the brick facade and rose window of the old chapel in which the hospital is housed, creates a balanced tension between past and present, and dances between the boundaries of art and architecture.
In addition to veteran services, the Military Hospital also houses low-income families. Ervinck hopes to inspire and excite residents by adding a playful and expressive new dimension to their home, and invite them to view the world in a new way.