Jan Slothouber and William Graatsma

Cubisch Gewelfd Kruis (Cubic Vaulted Cross)  (1970)


Location: Vertigo Building, floor 5

Jan Slothouber and William Graatsma get acquainted as colleages with DSM (the former Dutch State Mines company), where they both work on exhibition architecture. Later they move on together to the Section of Morphology at the Department of Architectural Sciences at TU/e. Slothouber becomes a professor in 1980, whereas Graatsma becomes manager of the Jan van Eyck Academy in Maastricht. 'Cubisch Gewelfd Kruis' (Cubic Vaulted Cross) is a sculpture made specially for the 1970 Venice Biennale. DSM donates the work to the Department of Architectural Sciences, which in turn donates it to TU/e on the occasion of the foundation day celebration of 1977. 'Cubisch Gewelfd Kruis' is remarkable for the application of coloured perspex. The light effect which is achieved gives the suggestion of internal life within the construction.

Slothouber's and Graatsma's work with DSM involves research into cubic patterns. This also leads to the foundation of CCC, the Center for Cubic Constructions, which represents the Netherlands at the Venice Biennale of 1970.

Using the cube and the unit of 700 millimeters as the basic form, they create there own world of forms, which offers many options for application.
Slothouber: "That doesn't mean that everything must necessarily be square. You can lay several squares next to each other and if you just make the unit small enough, you can achieve any form you want." Slothouber and Graatsma make spheres, towers and cylinders out of cubic cells. These the apply in perspex showcases or in cushions which may be joined together to a bench using zippers.

They also make hexagons in coloured perspex, built up from 4, 16 or 64 uniform windows. 'Cubisch gewelfd trottoir' (Cubis Vaulted Sidewalk), which just as 'Cubisch Gewelfd Kruis' was on display at the Venice Biennale, was acquired by the Municipality of Eindhoven and now stands on Luxemburg Lane in the town district of Woensel.

Slothouber also made designs for Dutch Stamps.