The Aron (ark), Shulchan (table) and Mizbeach (altar) each possess a "Zeir Zahav Saviv" - a gold crown around the top. Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai compares these three crowns to the crown of Torah (Keter Torah), the crown of royalty (Keter Malchut), and the crown of priesthood (Keter Kehunah). The ark, which contains the tablets upon which the ten commandments are written (Luchot) and will eventually hold the Torah, symbolizes Keter Torah.
While most of the Torah's imperatives to make the vessels inside the sanctuary (Keilim) are in the singular - "Ve'Asita," the prescription to make the ark is in the plural - "VeAsu." The Midrash, one commentary, explains that the command to build the ark is an invitation by God to all of Israel to be involved with the ark and to learn the Torah it contains - to share in the crown of Torah.
Furthermore, several structural details of the ark correspond to specific aspects of Torah. "VeTzipita Oto Zahav Tahor MiBayit UMiChutz" - "Cover it (the ark) with a layer of gold on the inside and outside." The Talmud compares the uniformity of interior and exterior to the requirement that a Talmid Chacham (a learned student) should be Tocho KeBaro (his inside like his outside)-- genuine and sincere.
According to the Midrash, the Badim - poles, which were used to lift the ark, represent those who support the Torah. And just as the poles may never be removed - "Lo Yasuru Mimenu," the Torah and its ideas warrant our permanent, unwavering support and assistance.
The Ba'al HaTurim compares the Cherubim who face each other ("U'Fneihem Ish El Achiv"), to two students facing one another as they discuss and debate while learning Torah. Just as God spoke to Moses "MiBein Shnei HaK'ruvim" - "from between the two Cherubim," similarly, God's presence rests between two people who sit and discuss Torah together. The power of Chavruta - learning Torah together with another - invokes the Shechinah, or presence, of God.