The GAK Gebouw is an enormous municipal office building located in Amsterdam’s upcoming Bos en Lommer district. Designed by Ben Merkelbach and completed in 1959, the building has been accommodating the city’s social service department for decades, but is currently transformed into a student housing complex. Some time ago I noticed a visual artwork on its roof, consisting of digital fireworks combined with flashing words that say “IK HOU VAN JE” (“I LOVE YOU”). I found out that artist Leonard van Munster is the man behind this light installation.
Van Munster created the artwork for the ‘Liefde in de Stad’ (‘Love in the City’) program, a series of events and art projects in Amsterdam that tend to stimulate love in the urban environment.
Overlooking the city’s A10 ring road, ‘Aphrodite in Amsterdam’ is a nine meters high installation that’s meant to be a love declaration that’s both large and intimate. Van Munster says his artwork is inspired by the typical flashing neon signs you find on the streets of big cities. The video below shows what it looks like:
The artwork is at its best during night time, when its colorful fireworks illuminate the GAK Gebouw and the big red letters light up every 30 seconds. ‘Aphrodite in Amsterdam’ will be officially opened on Tuesday 26 June.
Leonard van Munster was one of our presenters at two of our PechaKucha Nights in Amsterdam. If you’re interested in seeing more of his work, be sure to check out this piece we wrote on his Green Room, the vertical campsite he built and this transparent house in West Amsterdam.