Designers Scrap Plans for Gate Inspired by Concentration Camp

We've seen plenty of home features inspired by history, but a front gate that evokes one of the most notorious Nazi concentration camps is pretty extreme.

The controversial design was dreamed up by Job Smeets and Nynke Tynagel from Antwerp-based design firm Studio Job. The pair's defense is that they were simply using iconography that was "part of our history," and that the gate expressed "the opposite" of what we may think it represents, Fast Company reports.

The pair were designing the gate for a private art collector in the Netherlands, who commissioned it for his property. The designers found inspiration in the gate at Buchenwald, one of the largest concentration camps in Germany, where at least 56,000 male prisoners died, according to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. Though Fast Company reveals that the edgy Studio Job is renowned for its creation of "strange, occasionally sinister" art objects, this particular design is especially shocking.

Along with fencing that evokes barbed wire, the gate (pictured above) features an archway, hung with a bell, that looks like billows of smoke coming from two columns resembling chimneys (perhaps a nod to crematoriums, Curbed speculates). Its inscription is one also found at the old Buchenwald Gate in Germany, which reads "Jedem Das Seine" or "To Each His Own." (A photo of the gate at the camp's liberation by U.S. soldiers is below.)

Public outrage upon discovery of the design, which the president of the European Jewish Congress accused of "trivializing the Holocaust," put an immediate halt to the controversial gate's construction. Studio Job released a statement saying that the original plans for the gate/artwork "will not be realized" and the design has been "altered due to the commotion and unrest" it had caused.

This follows another recent controversy in architectural design that raised similar objections. Just last month, the renderings of two linked towers slated to be built in Seoul, South Korea, set off a firestorm because of the design's perceived resemblance to New York City's Twin Towers as they billowed smoke and spewed debris after hijacked jets crashed into them on Sept. 11, 2001. But despite the backlash, construction of the controversial towers is set to continue as planned in January 2013.