Toren Collage Top View

view over the Uitkerkse Polder

tower in Blankenberge

For those who want to see, the landscape of the Uitkerkse polder is beautiful and abundant. The beauty of the area unfolds for visitors who want to make an effort for it. This concerns small discoveries, water birds close to the ground, salty soil, modest plants. The visitor center is attractive for those who want to discover the small scale, are curious about plants, animals, trees and especially the sky. 

With our building we want the visitor to look at the big and the small. We are not only concerned with the distant view, but also with the many small details that make up the nature of the Uitkerkse polder, with insects, birds and plants. Our tower matches the Uitkerkse polder and the modesty of the current visitor center. It is only spectacular for those who want to see it. The focus of the design is in the details.

locatie: Blankenberge
jaar: 2019
status: competition, 2nd price
illustratie: Rotraut Susanne Berner
Toren Polder
Toren Bezoekerscentrum

Visitor center Uitkerkse Polder

Toren Masterplan

Plan of the tower situated towards the Uitkerkse Polder

Toren Landscape View

A visit to the visitor center starts with a walk through the garden. Together with the existing buildings, the new studio and the existing trees, our tower forms a friendly ensemble. It acts as a beacon in the landscape and is positioned amongst the trees.

A simple, single-layered building volume connects the exhibition space with the tower. All together the buildings form a friendly ensemble around the entrance square.

Toren Inplantingsplan
Toren Diagram

We regard the immediate surroundings of the tower as a large insect meadow to attract butterflies, bees and other insects. We propose a vibrant, richly coloured planting of permanent native plants that are attractive to humans and animals. The flat roof of the studio building is also being planted intensively. 

The floor plan of the tower has a simple, tapered shape. Therefore the volume is not perceived immediately and can only be observed perpendicular. The tower shows its own face to the surronudings from every point in the landscape. Narrow, slender and tall, or broad and tight. The form also provides interesting views, frameworks and spatial relationships from within.

Toren Collage
Toren Plan
Toren Axo Interior
Toren Interior Room Insect
Toren Interior Room Nature
Toren Interior Room Birds

We would like the visitor to look at nature from different perspective, therefore the tower consists of several stacked rooms with changing views. 

The stairs fold around the bearing structure in the centre of the building. Every floor and every landing feels like a special room. The slowly changing views are framed as paintings, there are benches to gather, information to be shared and a room with display walls to view the façade with all its residents.

Toren Axo Construction 1
Toren Axo Construction 2
Toren Axo Construction 3
Toren Axo Construction 4
Toren Axo Construction 5
Toren Axo Construction 6
Toren Axo Insect House

The detailing of the tower invites nature. It is a breeding ground, beehive and insect hotel. We deliberately provide spaces, cracks and cavities for birds and insects in the cladding. At various heights of the tower we integrate facilities that are carefully matched to the animals we want to house. There is space for nests and nest boxes under the various roof overhangs.

Toren Parasite

Parasite Las Palmas, Rotterdam 2001

We propose a sturdy and simple construction for the tower. For this we use almost exclusively natural materials, such as CLT (cross-laminated timber).

Toren Clt
Toren Landscape Far View