Ateliereen Architecten

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Viewing tower in De Onlanden

Completed 2017
Client Natuurmonumenten
Building contractor Bouwbedrijf Doornenbal, Appelscha
Structural engineering abtWassenaar, Haren

Nature area De Onlanden is located southwest of the city of Groningen. To enhance the experience of this valuable site, Natuurmonumenten built a viewing tower in this area. From the tower you have a beautiful view and you can follow the development of the new nature. The tower is a sober landmark in the open countryside; recognizable, but appropriate to the environment.

Instead of focusing on the lookout point, the road to it is designed as an experience. During the walk to the top you do not have the feeling of being in a tower, but on a path between the trees. Visitor get in two places extra information about the view. At about 9 meters is the first view. On a platform overlooking the landscape "Het Beeld" is shown information. Then the staircase makes a big bend and continues up to the second check point. At 20 meters height there the second moment of view towards the "new nature" of the Onlanden. The last stairs ane a wide so that visitors can sit down to enjoy the view. On top, at an altitude of about 25 meters, is a panoramic view over the Onlanden and direction Groningen.

The main supporting structure and the stairs are melted together as a continuous shape. Large triangulars of wooden slats cover the sides and bottom of the stairs. This turns the tower into a playful structure. During the climb, there is sometimes full view and elsewhere the view is limited.