Mountaineering Centre

Centre for mountain climbing, biking, hiking, white-water canoeing and rafting in the flat peat fields of Stadskanaal in Groningen in The Netherlands. The project was inspired by the plans of the Dutch Commandos at the time to realise a training facility in the area with a similar brief.

Extensive research went into defining every element of the brief before the building was designed, including interviews with representatives of the respective sports organisations, and precedent visits and studies. The building has a restaurant with spectator seats to view competitions on the climbing wall inside and the white-water course in front of the building. There is a hotel and there are office facilities for the various organisations associated with mountain sports.

The rectangular pattern of the canals, formed by the excavation of turf, became the template for the activities park landscape design. The natural water level change near a lock in a nearby canal was used to divert the water course and create the white-water course for canoeing and rafting. The park introduced hills and slopes in the flat landscape of North Groningen whilst maintaining a closed ground balance. The landmark building stands out as an alienating element in the potato fields surrounding the project, creating a unique experience for anyone interested in mountaineering and outside activities.

Graduation tutors: Prof. ir. Leen van Duin (architecture), Prof. ir. Cees van Weeren (structures), Prof. dr. ir. Clemens Steenbergen (landscape).