The Gatekeepers of Venray, Six Landmarks / ateliereenarchitecten

© ateliereen architecten

Architect: ateliereen architecten
Location: Venray, Netherlands
Client: Municipality of Venray, Netherlands
Budget: 125,000 euro
Proyect Year: 2009-2010
Photographs: ateliereen architecten

© ateliereen architecten

The objects are placed around the renewed city centre of Venray. Six landmarks, that show the name of the streets that lead you towards the city centre. They can be used as a bench but they also light up the streets at night.

The project is the result of a design competition launched in 2009.

© ateliereen architecten

The six gatekeepers as we called them are cheerful objects, each of them unique. Their base is made of white granite, that connects the landmarks to the street. People passing by can sit on them. The elegant shape, round edges en light colour give the base a friendly look. The Corten- upper part is partially perforated. They feel warm by the rusty brown colour.

plan 01

At night he landmarks turn into nice lanterns. The names of the street will illuminate in various colours. They are the beacons along the ring road of Venray. They welcome you into the beautiful centre of the village!

View this project in Google Maps

* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "The Gatekeepers of Venray, Six Landmarks / ateliereenarchitecten" 27 Oct 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 30 May 2015. <>
  • Rotterdam

    I wonder why a little town like Venray would need 6 landmarks. And just by looking at the pictures you can see that the alienlike objects do not communicate with the location. It’s like they dropped out of the sky, with no purpose and with no respect to the enviroment. The citizens of Venray must be very pleased with these.

    • Bopp

      Is that a cynical comment? Because I can imagine they could actually be very pleased, just because all of your given arguments…

  • Timothy

    In 2009, the town of Venray opened a competition for this.

    1) It was an “open” competition.
    2) Three proposals were chosen for further developement and debate within the city council.
    3) After heavy debate this -now realised- design was chosen, allthough the mayor of Venray wanted a different design (notes from the discussion are in my posession).
    4) It states: Nobody wants these aliens to land in Venray.
    5) Organizers of the competition pushed this design in front due to connections with the winning firm.
    6) There was no more communication about this competition after this history of unpaid-and-thus-free-idea-production.
    7) No compensation was given to the two “losers” of this competition; not even a honourable mention by the organizing committee.
    8) Yes… I was one of those two,…lotsoflaughs
    9) My design was and is better for the Venray-people.
    10) I just don’t seem to have a name “to mention”.

    Everything to be verified by documents on my harddisk.
    In my opinion, whoever wants to start a competition in architecture etc. should be more responsible towards the workload which designers put into their ideas. Respect for that work, even it is not a chosen work at the end, should be paid to those who made it. May I remind everybody about another “interestion competition”? The Bahamas Design Challenge? Than you know what I am talking about.

    Thanks for your attention.

    • Bram

      Dear Timothy,

      It’s true that this design is a winning design of a competition. And I agree that the organisers should reward the other two entries which were chosen.
      Now you can think of the design whatever you want.
      But there was absolutely no connection at all between the winning design firm and the organizing committee, as you suggest.

      • Timothy

        Thanks Bram, dankjewel Bram, for your anwser to my questions posed.
        I truely congratulate you on the quick/swift construction (a nouveauté in Holland?), and it does look absolutely fabulous in the evening!
        But I also hope you can see the fact, that things did not went as planned in the second phase of the competition. My suggestion would be, that a winning team oversees this, and urges the organizing committee to pay tribute (which went wrong in the BDC-competition totally!).
        I do not have to explain how hard it is to be an independent designer: even though I don’t need the “bucks”, I could use some publicity as well. Yes, it sounds like pity or sorrow, but there are so many amougst architects etc. facing the same problem over and over again. My criticism is not against firms or hard working people, but against organizers of “open design competitions” – in many cases a cheap way of exploiting the energy and recourses of designers all over the world. In an economical crisis like now, which hits hard on the creative sector, everybody fights for the bone. A risk to take.
        As for the connections between people, I can only say it’s a small world after all… Let’s just say it had a smelly ending, tasting bad in my mouth which still makes me angry. Apologies for that, I should know better.
        Wish you good luck, alle goeds!

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