Ateliereen Architecten

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Viewing tower Reusel

Completed 2009
Client Outdoorpark Reusel
Structural engineering Adviesbureau S.v.Boxtel, Tilburg

In the Netherlands over 50 spots are marked on the map as starting points for recreational use of the rural landscape. People are encouraged to park their cars at these locations instead of other, more preserved, areas. From here they can explore nature by foot, mountain-bike, horse etc. In the small town Reusel, the nomination motivated a local sports merchant to found an outdoor sports park at one of these sites.

A tower, 25 meters high, with sport facilities like climbing and abseiling is the main attraction. It consists of six cubes, hanging on a core of steel columns. Straight flight staircases raise in between and cross the cubes several times in different positions. Two of the six cubes are accessible. The third one is the starting platform for a rope-slide and a high-rope track. In the top cube people can enjoy a panoramic view of the surroundings and there is a starting platform for abseiling. The athletes on the 13 meters high climbing wall are observed by visitors of the adjacent bistro.

Huge stacks of logs can be found in the surrounding production forest. The cladding of the tower consists of the same logs, halved and stripped. In this way it is an addition to the site, but also a local product. The climbing of the stairs is a surprising experience, because of the different intersections of stairs and cubes and the varying directions of the cladding. The use of wood makes the object fit in the setting. The orthogonal shapes on the other hand, create an exciting composition.