location: terneuzen, the netherlands
client: gemeente Terneuzen
status: competition entry
program: obervation tower
in collaboration with: Maarten Vermeulen
The municipality of Terneuzen, a harbor city in the south of the Netherlands, desired an iconic landmark that would represent the city and it's diverse charactaristics and would simultaniously act as an observation tower from which these charactaristics would be discernable. The location, a headland at the converge of the Westerschelde estuary and the channel to Ghent, is a significant position within the larger (international) context as it sits in between the North Sea, Antwerp and Ghent. Due to this location the city could evolve into a city that is known for three identities: water, harbor and industry. It's position in the larger context and the tripartite identity sparked the floorplan of the tower: a solid isosceles triangle that is potioned in a way where the points direct to its larger contexts and the sides to the three identities of Terneuzen.
As the direct context of the tower is very capricious and is polluted with a lot of visual noise we opted for a tower that stands as a single and simple gesture in order to seperate itself and be easily recognizable from any direction. The color red helps to make the tower stand out and simultaniously refers to the nautical color red that is used in ship building and hints at the red lion that is portrayed in the municipal flag of the city. The facade panels, locally produced polyester walkway grids that can live up to the local sea climate, are positioned perpendicular to the towers sides in order to allow views from the staircases inside to the surrounding landscape. Where landing platforms occur, with a special (educative) theme, the depth of the panels bulge on the inside in order to higlhiight the different identities of Terneuzen and gracefully distort the clean vertical profile of the facade. The crown of the tower is bulged downwards with the tips of the triangle pointing upward where visitors can step up a small podium to look in the far distance as they were at the front of a ship. This in combination with the perpendicular position of the facade panels garantuees a dynamic silhouet varying from each direction it is viewd from on the ground. Delivering a unique icon for Terneuzen and it's surrounding.
larger and direct context