The Observation Tower is the result of research into the optimal application of Ultra High Performance Concrete by the inclusion of a UNStudio case study team, CAB Utiliteitsbouw en Haitsma Beton.The design for the observation tower is the result of an example that sought to apply the features of Ultra High Performance Concrete in a functional, functional design. The case study team consisted of designers, engineers and builders who together looked for a solution through which architecture and construction could reinforce each other. According to Ben van Berkel, “The Observation Tower provided our Inventive Materials Research Platform with the opportunity to explore the properties of Ultra High Performance Concrete and really test the full potential of this new material in a real structure.” Ultra High Performance Concrete differs from normal concrete as it has a very high density, contains steel fibers and has an extremely fine grain structure. These properties facilitate the application of high compressive forces in narrow dimension structures.
UNSTUDIO’s Inventive Materials Platform is one of four in-house research platforms and aims to explore custom material applications and facilitate inspired and imaginative collaboration with other experts and with manufacturers in the construction industry.A 25 meter high observation tower will be realized on the forested border of the nature reserve ‘De Onlandana’ on the outskirts of Groningen. Once built, the tower will extend 5 meters above the trees and offer views over 3,000 hectares of natural landscape that form the largest water reservoir in the Netherlands.