The Vanished House Between Heaven and Earth

Monument ‘The vanished house between heaven and earth’, Enschede
Balta 2005

In May 2005, five years after the fireworks disaster in Enschede, the monument ‘The vanished house between heaven and earth’ as been unveiled. The monument is part of the Lasonderbleek Park in the Roombeek district and was commissioned by the local authorities of Enschede.

Central to the monument’s design is the notion of ‘house’, or rather the ‘vanished houses’ of the Roombeek district. The design uses a number of elements that refer to the fireworks disaster of May 13, 2000, in particular the footings of the former storage depot that are still in place and the crater created by the explosion. The enormous power of the explosion tilted the footings and blew away the houses of Roombeek. This is symbolised by the ‘vanished house’, executed in black granite; it is highly visible in the grass without being obtrusive. The names of the victims have been engraved in the black stone at the other side of the footpath.

The tilted footings form a huge ‘natural’ scar in the park. In the course of time, the footings will become overgrown, they will weather and crumble. Time and nature will do their work, causing the footings to eventually disappear. The outline of the vanished house is itself also a scar, carefully applied to the ‘skin’ of the city with black granite, as a reminder of a wound that will never heal.

Foto’s Thomas Lenden, Amsterdam