In a forest in the east of the Netherlands, one of the best architecture offices in the Netherlands designed a lookout tower. The structure is part of a small park in the vicinity of the village Putten. The concept that the architect, SeARCH, has put forward works like this: take a circular piece of the forest and put it 36 meters up in the sky. From this elevated ground there is a 360 degree view over the forest, in which cities like Amersfoort appear at the horizon.
Some text from the architect’s office:
The Schovenhorst Estate is known for its unique variety of trees. Beginning in 1848, the founder of the Estate collected seads from across the world to experiment with which species could grow on the heathland near Putten. This resulted in four collections of species present in the area; the small and the large Pinetum, the Arboretum and the Three Continents forest.
The Forest Tower is an additional element to the Estate, a look-out tower on which surrounding trees can be viewed. The tower is designed as a condensed path, rather than a vertical ascension, with each facet of the promenade looking out over the forest. The branches of the tower accommodate several perspectives along the route. Sometimes a view of heaven, then again only branches, the ground or a panorama. 30 Meters above ground you can climb over a net and then, a bit higher, attend a performance within a small theatre. The conclusion of the ascent is not so much an expected look-out platform, but a new piece of the forest. This elevated platform provides ground for experimentation with conifer growth, but also an opportunity for the visitor to rise to a higher place.
On the platform, with a diameter of 17 meters and a weight of 480 tons, trees are planted. These trees have been specially selected for this location and were planted at the Estate three years ago in preparation for their unique tour into the sky.
During special occasions an Indian ‘tipi’ can be folded around the tower’s core.
Looking up from below, the bottom of the platform is visible; a mirroring rvs copperplate, resulting in a reflection of the surrounding woods. Through this feature, the Forest Tower is further absorbed by its environment. This adds to the counterplay between tower and forest.
Photos by Michiel van Raaij