Water tower becomes viewing platform
The old water tower in the Warandeduinen nature reserve was due for a thorough renovation, but it was still performing its original function of providing drinking water to a large part of Middelkerke. Since the region could not do without its water supply, the base was left in place, allowing the pumping station to keep on operating. In the new design, nature, sand and wind are given free rein, with a raised wooden boardwalk that transitions into a bridge limiting the impact at ground level. A new structure has been added on top of the retained base, in which an eye-catching bundle of tubes winds its way around a spiral staircase. This array of galvanized and lacquered tubes is a reference to the area’s characteristic marram grass. The blades support the spiral staircase, a rest platform and a 20 m high panoramic platform. The use of steel gave rise to light open structures that contrast nicely with the existing solid base. It also meant that the structure could be prefabricated, allowing work in the protected dune area to be kept to a minimum.