Chapter: Development / Construction work / 1st Phase

27. April 2010 - 31. Oktober 2010

The beginning of construction. I commissioned Kurz Natursteine GmbH with the initial construction. I remember fondly the various discussions with Oswald Kurz at his office, which gave birth to the first ideas on how to construct such a monument.

Meadow before the construction work
A view of the meadow before construction began.

Beginning of the construction work
The turf is removed where the monument’s circle will be constructed

A plateau is formed
Many trucks full of soil arrive at the plot. The new soil is used to construct a level plateau that compensates for the plot’s slope.
First small plateau is created
The inner circle has been constructed with a diameter of 16.60 meters. The plateau visible here has been created to compensate for the plot’s slope. The dimension – 16.60 m – references the only verse “16:60” in the Bible. It is a verse of Ezekiel, chapter 16 “Jerusalem – a faithless wife” in verse 60: “Yet I will remember the covenant I made with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.”

All dimensions that found their way in the monument’s design have a certain meaning. To name an example: The width of the ring for the commemorative stones measures 4 m. The number 4 is a symbol for the material world. After all, our inner workings are conditioned by our experiences in the material world. Another example: The steps of granite that demarcate the circle of the monument measure 2 x 8 cm high. The number 16 symbolizes the “collapsing tower” that humans construct to feel tall and important. The illusion of pure egocentrism with the maniacal illusion of control and grasp collapses. This is why these granite steps are called the
Threshold of Humility. The 16 (cross sum 1+6) houses the number 7, which represents healing.

The new earth was distributed in a circle
The new soil has been distributed flat over the circle. Around this plateau of soil, a trench for the "dark ring" of 4 m width, in which the commemorative stones are to stand, will be excavated in a depth sufficient for frost protection. However, the trench to be excavated is wider than 4 m, because in addition there are the 2 x 20 cm of the Thresholds of Humility. Again, I want to explain the meaning of the measure: These two steps of the Threshold of Humility both measures 20 cm in width. The number 2 symbolizes our polar, material world, which challenges us to overcome this polarity by finding a higher plane, a superior spiritual perspective; to free oneself from it. This is why you have to go over two steps to come into the circle of the monument. On the plane of the polar world, the plane of the 2nd step, on the way to the inside of the monument, there is the “dark ring” with the commemorative stones. We work through the experiences of a polar world here.

You would have to go up one more step to the next plane to reach the inner circle of 16.60 meters diameter, which will form the crown of the
Tree of Life. This is the third plane. The number 3 represents the spiritual principle, the enlightened perspective, in which integration can take place. As was mentioned earlier, all dimensions and numbers of the monument hold a deeper meaning. As an example: the total diameter of the monument's circle measures 26 meters. This symbolizes God’s will in the world, through us. The Tetragrammaton (the name of God in Judaism and Christianity) has the numeric value of 26. 

Worker builds the plateau
As an artist, I have an idea, but the two workers from Eastern Europe help with its material realization.

Worker at the monument
This is his colleague. We had a great connection, which came from the heart. This gave them an opportunity to connect to the project.

Stone blogs for the steps of the threshold of humilityGranite (Tarn) stone blogs for the steps of the Threshold of Humility in the monument.

Step - recognize the Holy
The step at the entrance of the monument.

The steps for the monument were delivered
An image with great power! One of the workers who unloaded the delivery and brought it to our plot must have paid attention to the configuration. The step with the dictum “Recognize the Holy in your midst” is located at the very front.

The first step has been positioned
The first stone block of the monument's circe with the inscription “Recognize the Holy in your midst” has been positioned to point exactly towards Jerusalem.

Step lies towards Jerusalem - prayer
Ismael, a Muslim and the manager at the construction company commissioned by the Kurz company, recites a short prayer during a moment of reflection.

Circle of 2 x 24 steps
The circle, 2 x 24 steps with a total width of 26 meters, was put in place. A miraculous experience. The workers started with the step at the entrance of the monument, that points towards Jerusalem and then placed the steps into a ring shape, one after the other. Before construction, I calculated which angles the edges should have to fit seamlessly next to each other in a circle. I had neither experience nor an educational background to support me in this type of endeavor; and yet, I never even considered that my calculations could be incorrect. At the same time, the investment sum so far equalled the value of a very decent automobile. It was blind faith. The steps were delivered to me in the desired dimensions. The workers then placed the stones in a circle, one after the other – without measuring devices, but with a keen touch. The circle closed without any spaces between the steps! Later on, I realized just how improbable it was that everything worked out. But it did! :-)

Circle of 2 x 24 steps - Close-up
In this picture you can see both parts of the circle. The crown of the Tree of Life shall be formed in the inner area. Later, an arch of earth is modeled here and a lawn created. The “dark ring” in the monument, which measures 4 meters in width and holds the commemorative stones, shall be formed in the exterior area where the gravel (mineral concrete) is visible. 

The concrete that is used to fix the steps into the ground can be seen surrounding the circle. The concrete outside of the steps must be removed during the next stage of construction. Basalt cobblestones are used to create an edging on the outside. The concrete on the outside of the steps must be removed inside the ring as well, where the “trunk” of the
Tree of Life will be built. The arches of the “trunk” will be positioned directly by the steps.

Winter break
Winter 2010 - 2011, construction works on the Monument Circle

Go on to:  2nd phase of construction

Return to overview:  Construction work
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