Dutch Design BlogWater Tower Sint Jansklooster by Zecc

“The water tower is situated in the middle of a protected nature reserve owned by the Dutch Nature Monuments; De Wieden in the province Overijssel. BOEi, Vitens and Nature Monuments took up the initiative to transform the tower to a watchtower. A spectacular ‘ route architecturale” will lead you up to a height of 45 m. At the top four windows give you a 360 degree view of De Wieden.

The journey begins with a closed staircase that leads to the first floor. Here you enter a room that is 24 m high and gives you a view of the spectacular composition of the old and new stairs. The new wooden stairs generates a warm atmosphere and leads through the body of the water tower. Where the old stairs runs up alongside the existing concrete walls, the new stairs zigzag across the tower to reinforce the spatial composition. A new, steel winding staircase departs from the floor below the water reservoir and goes right through the bottom of the empty tank. The stairs slowly winds up alongside the walls and intensifies the spatial perception of the reservoir, the heart of the tower. You feel small as a visitor and you get an impression of the huge quantity of water that used to provide water pressure for the entire region.

At the top of the tower you have reached the look-out point. The ‘lid’ of the tank has been partly removed in order to create a plateau to offer more of an overview for groups. The transparent raster floor makes you imagine yourself to be right in the middle of the tank. Alongside the four small existing windows four large ones have been added that complete the view of De Wieden. The public makes an exciting and multifaceted journey upstairs and is rewarded with a beautiful view.

The water tower is a national monument, which made alterations to the exterior and interfering with the reservoir a difficult point. The strength of this plan lies in a combination of extreme restraint on the exterior and an architectural statement on the inside of the tower.”


Images: Stijnstijl Fotografie
Text: Zecc

Dutch Design Blog

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *