MAARTEN VAN KESTEREN
MAARTEN VAN KESTEREN
architect
 
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A TOWER IN A GARDEN;
Finalist Open Call Uitzichttoren Vorstelijk Landschap

At first sight the landscape of Moerenburg and Koningshoeven in Tilburg is divided by highways. But if one observes carefully, thousands of connections may be found; hidden beneath the ground, above clouds, between grass and trees. Pollen and seeds, spread by the wind, birds and pollinators, defy man made barriers. This is essential for the survival of the many beautiful plants and animals in the area. But the connections are vulnerable. 

The highway encircled site chosen for the observatory tower is dubious. Who would visit this place on rainy days, at night, in winter or even at rush hour? How can a tower on this junction of traffic and landscapes contribute to its surroundings even at those times? The proposal consist of a garden, where wild flowers full of seeds and pollen grow and an observatory tower where birds and pollinators can rest and breed safely. The plants are food for the animals, the animals spread the plants over the surrounding landscape. 

The architecture relates to the landmarks of this region: the brick monasteries that can be seen from the tower. The curved shape protects visitors from the predominant wind directions, rain and the sound of the highway. The sounds in the garden are dimmed by the rustling aspens and whistling birds. In the massive brick walls hundreds of holes for animals may be found. Here, in the eye of a hurricane of traffic, visitors of any kind may find a place to rest. 

When night comes, the tower - with its many small openings - becomes like a lantern. The careful observer may notice movement around the tower and be under the impression that the hundreds of lights are the lamps of an invisible city, the life taking place deep within the massive walls. 

 
 
 
 
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