De Wieden National Park Observation Tower – Sint Jansklooster, Netherlands - Atlas Obscura

De Wieden National Park Observation Tower

Sint Jansklooster, Netherlands

Repurposed space and ultra-modern construction collide to create this geometric wooden spectacle. 


The old concrete water tower in the De Weiden section of this Netherlands national park was simply sitting empty until a design firm took steps to turn it into a beautifully angular observation tower. 

Using a light composite board material (that is technically made of wooden threads), the hollow interior of the old tower which looms above the De Weiden park treetops has been transformed into a modern architectural work of art. The Dutch design firm, Zecc Architecten finished the zigging and zagging staircase in 2014, deliberately using lightly colored natural materials to contrast the industrial concrete and steel of the tower’s interior. The walkway has a Escher-like quality as it seems to turn in on itself in odd ways and take sudden turns, or spans from wall to wall. The old steel walkway has been left in place, making the newer wooden stairs stand out even more.

The stairs lead right up to the domed “cap” of the water tower after which visitors can ascend a small metal stair that leads the top section of the tower. From the vantage point 150 feet above the park, the observation deck gives a 360 degree view of the surrounding wildlife. However the true wonder of this site may be below observers’ feet.   

Know Before You Go

The tower is in St Jansklooster.. at the published coordinates

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web