Birthe Leemeijer designed the Dokkum ice fountain in 2015. The fountain was gifted to the town by the 11fountains project organised to mark Leeuwarden-Fryslân’s nomination as the Cultural Capital of Europe in 2018. The project commissioned a unique ice fountain for each of the eleven cities in Friesland.
Little did Birthe suspect that the fountain she created would be controversial. It was finally installed at the beginning of 2019 almost a year later than planned. It was the last of the eleven fountains to be put in place. This was partly because of the design, partly because of the technology and partly because of the transformation of the market square.
When, after a long wait, Birthe finally saw her fountain in action, she was thrilled to see that her efforts had paid off. The curved forms, internal cooling pipes and soldering technique had resulted in a masterpiece!
The layers of ice are formed through the interplay of the elements and the available solar energy. This is symbolic of (the loss of) our connection with nature, changes in the climate and the absence of the Elfstedentocht.
The ice formations mean that the fountain is never the same from one day to the next. This makes it a stunning focal point for Dokkum, a vibrant town that likes to think carefully before taking action. All good things take time.