Les Mills International
Les Mills International
Les Mills International

'A war against its own weight': Architects create gravity-defying stairway as observation tower in Belgian forest

Architecture practice Close to the Bone have blurred the boundary between a stairway and an observation tower by building a gravity-defying monument in a Belgian forest.

The studio were commissioned to build an observation point in the municipality of Tielt-Winge, after a popular wooden lookout tower was destroyed by arsonists.

The brief called for a new landmark that could survive the elements and attack from vandals. Their solution was Vlooyberg Tower; a huge metal stairway that raises up from the ground seemingly without support.

“Instead of a conventional construction with a spiral staircase, we conceived a suspendedvolume without too many decorative frills,” said the studio in a statement. “Modelling the Vlooyberg Tower was a war against its own weight.”

The tower is more than 11m (36ft) tall and and is built on a galvanised sub-structure clad in weathering steel; a subtle reference to the red-brown colour of the ironstone found in the region

To ensure that the structure would be strong enough and would not sag, Close to the Bone manually calculated the forces acting in each element and selected a suitable form and dimensions. As a result, the tower weighs less than 13 tonnes.

A railing wall functions as a structural beam that makes the steel structure strong and stable enough to withstand the forces acting on it, while two shock absorbers stop the tower from vibrating under foot.

The structure was fully prefabricated and assembled on site section by section in just half a day.

“The tower enters into a dialogue with the surroundings and is placed in juxtaposition with respect to the environment,” said Close to the Bone.

“As a landmark with strong iconic value, it both literally and figuratively raises the profile of the beautiful region – an intriguing monument for locals, passers-by and fans of modern architecture.”

Vlooyberg Tower  Tielto-Winge  Close to the Bone  Belgium  architecture  design  observation tower  weathering steel  gravity-defying 
Related stories
18 Feb 2016

Precipitous triangular viewpoint latest addition to Norway’s tourist routes

Architecture practice Close to the Bone have blurred the boundary between a stairway and an observation tower by building a gravity-defying monument in a Belgian forest. The studio were commissioned to build an observation point in the municipality of Tielt-Winge, after a popular wooden lookout tower was destroyed by arsonists. The brief called for a new landmark that could survive the elements and attack from vandals. Their solution was Vlooyberg
CLD,VAT,ARC,DES
Vlooyberg Tower is over 11m (36ft) tall and and is built on a galvanized substructure clad in weathering steel / Close to the Bone
More news
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7635     
 
 
 
News stories: 1 - 30 of 7635     
 
 
 
company profile
Company profile: Blu Spas, Inc.
Since the 1998 launch of spa & wellness design and planning company Blu Spas, Cary Collier, Doug Chambers and their international team have provided solutions for a wide variety of projects, including hotels, resorts, clubs, mixed-use and residential properties. 
videos
BluGalaxy a Division of Blu Spas
Blu Spas
This animation showcases the beautiful concept design of BluGalaxy Spa.
Try cladmag for free!
Sign up with CLAD to receive our regular ezine, instant news alerts, free digital subscriptions to CLADweek, CLADmag and CLADbook and to request a free sample of the next issue of CLADmag.
sign up
features
The Center for Sustainable Landscapes in Pittsburgh, US
José Almiñana
"We are committed to designing evocative landscapes informed by the best environmental science"

The Andropogon principal on pushing the boundaries of landscape design for the benefit of humans and nature

The Big U aims to protect Lower Manhattan from floods
"Funding woes and murky timelines are common problems. It can be easier to make a difference one small project at a time"

From parks designed to mitigate the effects of flooding to warming huts for one of the world’s coldest cities, these projects have been designed for increasingly extreme climates

Manuelle Gautrand
"The cities where you have good cultural buildings and facilities – it’s a way for people to mix, to share the city in a much deeper way"

The French architect and winner of the 2017 European Prize for Architecture tells us why she is determined to surprise

Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
To advertise in our catalogue gallery: call +44(0)1462 431385
features
SHL managing director Sanne Wall-Gremstrup (right) and Perkins+Will CEO Phil Harrison
"Most clients are very focused on how buildings are used and experienced as the primary design driver"

The MD of Schmidt Hammer Lassen and the CEO of PerkinsWill tell us why their merger will help create smarter buildings driven by human behaviour

Francis graduated as a landscape architect in Belgium. He returned to Lebanon in 1993
"I believe gardens are where the soul rests"

With a focus on desert landscapes and collaborations with Zaha Hadid and OMA, the principal of Francis Landscapes has a deep belief in the power of nature

The bedrooms feature cushioned window seats and bright colours
"We tried to take over in a friendly way"

The Standard’s first London hotel is bold, fun and full of surprising touches

features
"We’ve designed the space so that the atmosphere is intimate"

Les Mills’ new studio spaces at its iconic Auckland City Gym showcase a trend away from masculine ‘grunty’ gyms to something altogether different

Spa and wellness specialist Alberto Apostoli was responsible for the interiors
"Wellness embraces the entire holiday experience"

The design of the newly-opened Lefay Resort and Spa Dolomitti in Italy aims to celebrate and protect its spectacular surroundings

The Pompidou Centre opened in Paris in 1977
Stephen Barrett (left) 
and John McElgunn (right) were both made partners at RSHP in 2016
"Leisure space – public space – is at the very root of democracy, and architecture is about democracy"

As RSHP completes its latest cultural project, we speak to two of its partners about why Richard Rogers isn’t leaving his succession to chance

cladkit product news
Siminetti unveils first glimpses of Mother of Pearl decorative surfaces inspired by the four seasons
The new winter design is finished with naturally occurring hexagonal patterns found in snowflakes
Megan Whitby
Siminetti has collaborated with British designer Chrisanna London to create a luxury Mother of Pearl decorative surface range inspired by ...
Cosm unveils Experience Centre with ‘one of a kind’ LED dome
The new Experience Centre houses a 20m LED dome
Magali Robathan
Cosm, a global technology company that builds end-to-end solutions for immersive experiences, has unveiled its Experience Centre which houses a ...
Fabio Alemanno Design uses elegant semi-precious stones to create memorable spa experiences
Alemanno believes the stones are well-placed in the spa environment thanks to their capacity to positively support physical and mental health
Megan Whitby
Fabio Alemanno Design has expanded its collection with semi-precious stones to enhance spas, wellness facilities, hotels and private residences. The ...
cladkit product news
Móz Designs columns anchor the world’s largest indoor aquarium
The design of the columns was inspired by the sea
Magali Robathan
After a two-year renovation, Oakland-based metal experts Móz Designs have unveiled their inclusion in Georgia Aquarium’s new shark gallery. Located ...
Eden project uses drones to spell out climate change warning
Magali Robathan
Almost 300 drones were used to signal an environmental message above the Eden Project’s biomes, during the UN Climate Change ...
Christie laser projectors power new Five Senses Bubble dome theatre
The dome aims to integrate technology with arts and culture
Magali Robathan
Christie® GS Series 1DLP® laser projectors are delivering vivid and lifelike visuals in a new dome theatre located in Xiong’an ...
cladkit product news
Jaffe Holden helps bring Academy Museum of Motion Pictures alive
Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics for the Academy Museum
Magali Robathan
Acoustical consulting firm Jaffe Holden provided architectural acoustics and audio/video design services for the recently opened Academy Museum of Motion ...
Diamond balloon concept merges tourist attraction with advertising billboard
Magali Robathan
A group of Dutch engineers have presented a new attractions concept that combines a flying observation cabin with LED digital ...
LianTronics’ glasses-free 3D Star Trek LED screen attracts attention
Magali Robathan
LianTronics’ giant curved LED wall with stunning glasses-less 3D spaceship display effect has attracted many on the street of Chengdu, ...
x
Sign up with CLAD for regular news updates
Les Mills International
Les Mills International