Why is STOA169 built with 121 columns?
The original idea for the project was born more than 30 years ago. The first model was created in the 1990s.
The concept of 13 x 13 columns also dates from this time. During many years of planning and development, which were repeatedly interrupted, the project was subject to several changes. In 2017/18, the expert jury nominated over 200 artists who were invited to participate in STOA169. Not all artists could accept the invitation. Some lacked the time either as they were pursuing other artistic projects, others had reached an advanced age or have even passed away in the meantime, some have cancelled their participation for conceptual reasons. All this had an impact on the concept of the columned hall until the end. As STOA169 stands for an overall artistic concept that is supported by artists from all over the world, coming from three generations, shifts in this balance required corresponding adjustments.
The Board of Trustees of the STOA169 Foundation considered different possibilities and finally decided unanimously that the reduction of the number of columns from 13 x 13 to 11 x 11 was the only right solution. For the success of STOA169, it is important to concentrate on the essential, namely the joint and collaborative realisation as well as artistic quality, and not to adhere to a detail that seemed right in the planning phase, but turned out differently during the implementation. The original project name STOA169 will be maintained, as well as the concept of an odd number, a prime number. The columned hall has a geometrical centre and opens equally to all sides. One of the central ideas of STOA169 is to achieve a harmonious relationship between visual arts and the surrounding nature. This aspect played a decisive role in the consideration and decision of reducing the number of columns. The reduction sets a sign of self-restraint and has the effect of minimising the extent of construction work. The savings benefit the entire hall and its surroundings accordingly, whereby the concept of a global hall of art is by no means weakened. On the contrary, the constant rethinking and adjustment of all details are essential for the success of the STOA169 columned hall. All the more since there are hardly any comparable projects worldwide whose experience can be drawn upon.
A subsequent expansion of the columned hall to the originally planned 169 columns is still possible, perhaps a task for the next generation.