Location5541 Reusel, The Netherlands
Architectateliereenarchitecten, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
Clientassigned partial by local government, partial by merchant for outdoor sports
From the architect. In the Netherlands over 50 spots are marked on the map as starting points for recreational use of the rural landscape. People are encouraged to park their cars at these locations instead of at other, more preserved, areas. From here they can explore nature by foot, mountain bike, horse etc. In the small town Reusel, the nomination motivated a local sports merchant to found an outdoor sports park.
A tower, 25 meters high, with sport facilities like climbing and abseiling is the main attraction. It consists of six cubes, hanging on a core of steel columns. Straight flight staircases raise in between and cross the cubes several times in different positions.
Two of the six cubes are accessible. The third one is the start platform for a rope slide and a high rope track. In the top box people can enjoy a panorama view of the surrounding landscape and there is a starting platform for abseiling. The athletes on the 13 meters high climbing wall are observed by visitors of the adjacent bistro.
Huge stacks of logs can be found in the surrounding production forest. The cladding of the tower consists of the same halved, stripped logs. This way it is an addition, as well a product of it's surroundings.
The climbing of the stairs is a surprising experience, because of the different intersections of stairs and cubes and the varying directions of the cladding. The use of wood makes the object fit in it's setting. The orthogonal (unnatural!) shapes on the other hand create an exciting composition.