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Westgate Oxford The Lantern and Oculus

The Lantern and Oculus, located at the Bonn Square entrance to Westgate Oxford, were conceived by Daniela Schönbächler in collaboration with Sir Jeremy Dixon of Dixon Jones Architects. The two artworks amplify the sense of arrival at the centre and herald the route-map of art commissions that form the Westgate Art Programme.


The Lantern, a multi-faceted sculpture located on the right-hand skyline of the main entrance, is formed from 78 variously coloured glass panes within a delicate steel framework.

The inspiration for the sculpture draws upon the artist’s research into the proportions of fenestration in some of the early glass windows of Oxford University buildings.

The reflective surfaces of The Lantern change continuously in response to the ambient environment and the sky with its changing cloudscapes. At night, The Lantern is subtly lit from its base in discrete white light.


The Lantern holds a certain symbolism for the world’s oldest English-speaking University city: it represents a kind of receptacle, capable of metaphorically containing all the historic knowledge of the universe, which has been collected and built up over centuries. The intention of the artwork is to transmit these thoughts and ideas to the passer-by.

– Daniela Schönbächler, 2016


The Oculus forms a second marker to the main entrance, complementing the Lantern. The artist’s intervention of a floating vertical glass ‘curtain’ draws the eye upwards, encouraging a visual dialogue between the two works.



Daniela Schoenbaechler

Title of work

The Lantern and Oculus


Westgate Oxford Alliance


Dixon Jones Architects





Image credit

Image credit: Lorenz Ehrismann