shaped like a pentagon, studio MOTO's observation point rises along the belgian sea

shaped like a pentagon, studio MOTO's observation point rises along the belgian sea

westerpunt by studio moto connects to sea, water, and dunes

 

Emerging along the sea in De Panne, Belgium, Westerpunt by Studio MOTO joins together water, sand, and nature in a sculptural choreography of concrete. This uniquely shaped observation point sits on the slope of a local promenade, looping itself into a hovering pentagon that invites passersby to walk up a flight of stairs from either side. ‘The sea with its tides, the beach, the dunes, and the promenade. Belgium and France. Birds and walkers. […] How can we bring all these elements together and make them more tangible without imposing them and disturbing the place? The placement of the tower makes the location a link between the different elements,’ notes the studio. Also compared to a ring, Westerpunt symbolizes the connection between humans and nature or between two countries.

shaped like a pentagon, studio MOTO's observation point rises along the belgian sea
Westerpunt observation point | image © Studio MOTO

 

 

a pentagon-shaped concrete design with looping stairs

 

In plan, the Westerpunt observation point takes the shape of an elongated pentagon, constructed from equal stair segments connected at an angle of 108°. Between the segments, Studio MOTO (see more here) embeds a landing and resting point, each offering a unique view of the surroundings. The stairs also serve as the ‘pillars’ of the bridge, unifying form, structure, and function. Both the pillars and foundation ensure that the structure can cantilever over the beach and the sea. On the east side of the observation tower, an additional bench is provided as a resting point with a view through the concrete structure.

shaped like a pentagon, studio MOTO's observation point rises along the belgian sea
image © Studio MOTO

 

 

creating a dynamic walking and viewing experience in de panne

 

The dynamic, looping shape distinguishes the observation tower from its surroundings and arouses interest and curiosity without dominance, thus becoming a benchmark and a destination. It breaks the linearity of the promenade and expands the walking experience with its multidirectional aesthetic. In fact, the path continues over the bridge as if one is climbing a high sand dune. ‘The transparency through the structure acts as a lens, focusing on what lies behind and creating a link to the place one is walking towards. This works from different directions, from De Panne to Dunkirk and vice versa,’ continue the architects.

shaped like a pentagon, studio MOTO's observation point rises along the belgian sea
image: video still | © Studio MOTO

 

 

The view of De Panne is unique, partly thanks to the large nature reserve and the dunes that open up to the beach. This sets it apart from other Belgian seaside towns. As the dunes are essentially the city’s main asset, the construction of Westerpunt closely aligns with these natural formations in terms of scale, height, shape, color, material, and position. This visual experience takes a turning point at high tide, when the observation point becomes partially submerged in the sea.

shaped like a pentagon, studio MOTO's observation point rises along the belgian sea
image: video still | © Studio MOTO

 

 

Studio MOTO sculpted Westerpunt entirely out of concrete, making its texture and color closely aligned with the coastal surroundings — especially the promenade — and highly resistant to the very aggressive sea climate of De Panne. Concrete also requires limited maintenance and emulates a robustness required for public structures. Lastly, should the dunes be allowed to expand and stretch around and under the structure, Westerpunt can then stand independently on its own.

shaped like a pentagon, studio MOTO's observation point rises along the belgian sea
image: video still | © Studio MOTO

westerpunt-studio-moto-designboom-full-4

image © Studio MOTO

shaped like a pentagon, studio MOTO's observation point rises along the belgian sea
image: video still | © Studio MOTO

shaped like a pentagon, studio MOTO's observation point rises along the belgian sea
image: video still | © Studio MOTO

westerpunt-studio-moto-designboom-full-3

image: video still | © Studio MOTO

westerpunt-studio-moto-designboom-full

image © Pink Apartment

 

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image © Studio MOTO
image © Studio MOTO
image © Studio MOTO
image © Studio MOTO
image © Studio MOTO
image © Studio MOTO
image © Michiel Hendryckx
image © Michiel Hendryckx
image: video still | © Studio MOTO
image: video still | © Studio MOTO
image: video still | © Studio MOTO
image: video still | © Studio MOTO

project info:

 

name: Westerpunt 

location: De Panne, Belgium 

architect: Studio MOTO | @studio.moto

client: Municipality of De Panne and the Province of West-Flanders

stability study: mouton engineering | @mouton_structureel_ontwerp

contractor: Furnibo

project period: 2020 – 2024

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