Observation towers are fascinating structures, a combination of intriguing structural engineering and spectacular architecture. As such, one could argue they’re not dissimilar to bridges. What would happen if we designed an observation tower based on the structural principle of the cable-stayed bridge? This question inspired us to join forces with Seoul based Korean architect Saul Kim in designing concepts for sculptural observation towers. The result of this collaboration: three sculptural observation towers and one sculptural bridge/observation tower.
Although at this stage we’ve only created conceptual designs, we did of course also think about materials, structural integrity to make sure these towers can actually be built.
The three towers are designed to be around 12 to 15 metres in height, with a platform every three to three and a half metres. The sculptural bridge/observation tower has a projected span of around sixteen metres.
A sculptural floating path which winds its way around a single pylon, all the way up to the top. The path itself is both stairs, landing and viewing platform, offering 360 degrees views.
We believe this concept works best in a combination of weathering steel (path) and regular steel (pylon), as this accentuates its sculptural qualities.
Another concept is that of triangular pyramids stacked upon each other, with a flight of stairs along the outer side of one of the ribs. These stairs each take visitors in another direction. At the very top of the structure is a large triangular viewing platform.
Visitors really get to experience the towers structure as they pass along it in different angles. This structure can easily be altered by closing off some of the triangular surfaces, which will result in a more playful version.
A monolithic tower combined with a cantilevering path that takes plenty of bends, allowing it to pass through and past the tower in various ways. This concept doesn’t only show the inside of the tower form different perspectives, but also offers a lot of variation when it comes to sight lines and light and dark.
In our opinion the tower appears strongest when it is made from materials such as concrete or masonry, whereas the stairs can best be built in steel.
Apparently simple but nonetheless complex structure, which offers visitors a functional crossing as well as an object to wander about in. There are many routes possible, each with their own experience of both bridge and its surroundings.
We envision a structure in concrete or steel, with the steel structure being a closed off one made out of sheet steel, allowing for a monolithic appearance.
We are currently looking for clients who have a suitable location for one of our concepts to actually be built. Please let us know if that might be you!
call Sam de Koning
+ 31 15 750 25 78
or call Gerhard Nijenhuis
+ 31 15 750 25 72
Sam de Koning