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The Ice Fountain in Dokkum

Sil it ea noch heve



“It was so long ago that we could barely remember what winter was, could only dream of the forgone days when the Frisian waters were covered by a dazzling layer of ice. We believed everything the prophets said about a new age, a changing climate, cool summers and mild winters – until suddenly a miracle happened.” 


-Baron van Rengers van Welderen, secretary of the Association of the Eleven Cities of Friesland (1917)

Numerous articles, both old and new, describe how closely the Dutch correlate climate change with the disappearance of the Elfstedentocht (Eleven cities skating tour).



For this fountain an interplay of elements will determine how the ice is formed. The weather will influence how the fountain’s various parts freeze and thaw. Fresh drops of melt water will trickle onto frozen parts. Forming on the sides of the layered elements is a structure resembling icy beards. 

The components are laid out according to the Fibonacci Spiral. Discovered by Fibonacci in the 13th century, this natural structure provides optimal light output in the way seeds, leaves and cell structures are organized. The sculpture reverses the Fibonacci Spiral. In doing so, it optimally protects the ice from both sunlight and rain. 

The amount of ice that will form on the fountain depends on the amount of green energy generated. Solar panels are amongst the materials used in the work. If so desired, Dokkum residents can contribute to the sculpture’s energy from their own home panels. A energy cooperation will be created for this purpose. 


The ice fountain is specifically designed for Dokkum’s Markt (market) and is surrounded by oak trees. These trees refer to the 7th century martyrs who, alongside Saint Boniface, were murdered at Dokkum in their attempt to Christianize the Frisians.

Bonifacius cut down the sacred oaks the pagan Frisians worshiped. The Quercus Palustris (Pin oak) turns bright red in the autumn.

The fountain and trees are part of a comprehensive redevelopment plan commissioned by the municipality of Dokkum and carried out by the urban development agencies Hosper and Enno Zuidema. 



Commissioned by: Leeuwarden-Fryslân 2018

Material: copper, water, solar panels, cooling technology, weather station, trees


Fontein Markt Dokkum 

Totaalplan herinrichting Markt in Dokkum met  Hosper Stedebouw- en Landschapsarchitectuur en Enno Zuidema, de gemeente Dongeradeel en de klankbordgroep Dokkum

In het kader van Leeuwarden Culturele Hoofdstad van Europa in 2018 ontwikkelde curator Anna Tilroe het idee om voor alle 11 steden in Friesland een blijvende fontein te laten ontwerpen door 11 internationale kunstenaars.

Dit project wordt ondersteund door het Mondriaanfonds.

De TU in Delft is betrokken bij de ontwikkelingsfase evenals Royal Haskoning DHV en Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draaisma

Uitvoering: Mannen van Staal, Damstra Installatietechniek, Rots Maatwerk, Bouwgroep Dijkstra Draaisma, Royal Haskoning DHV


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