De Onlanden observation tower by Ateliereen Architecten
Architect: Ateliereen Architecten (Eindhoven)
Location: Groningen (NL)
It cannot be denied that Ateliereen Architecten are specialists in designing towers: the Dutch architectural office completed an observation and climbing tower at Reusel Outdoorpark in 2009, followed by a viewing tower built of wood in Dalfsen in 2012 and a concrete adventure and climbing tower in Betuwe a year later. A filigree belvedere tower by the architects has been in place in the Belgian town of Lommel since 2015, and a further one of theirs was erected last year in the community of Bergschenhoek, not far from Rotterdam.
However the new observation tower near Groningen differs from their earlier structures of this type, coming with an expressive shape that turns not only the lookout point at the very top into a spatial adventure, but also the way up to it. Visitors climbing upwards arrive at first one and then a second intermediary platform offering additional information on the surrounding landscape. On reaching the top they are rewarded with panoramic views of the natural de Onlanden landscape from a height of 25 metres.
The main supporting structure and the stairs are designed and constructed as a single continuing shape. The wooden slats on the outer framework are assembled to form various triangular shapes, lending the tower a playful look.