The ‚Wilheminatoren‘, its skywalk opening up a fantastic view on to the forest region in the border triangle between the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, is a popular recreation destination in the area of South Limburg. At the foot of the airy tourist attraction, Adriaan Bos runs the restaurant of the same name. To cater to the increasing number of guests, Bos extensively modernised his restaurant, which has been family owned since 1957. And the outer areas were given a face lift, too. On 600 square metres a generous gastronomy patio was created. The Bavarian wood composite specialist NATURinFORM’s massive brown COMPACT deck was chosen for the patio flooring.
Gastronomy patio, Vaals, Netherlands
COMPACT in brown as massive deck
Type of Construction
After the first summer season in use, Adrian Bos makes a positive conclusion regarding his newly designed outdoor area:’ My guests are enthusiastic. We decided on the right floor surface.’
‚Wilhelminatoren‘: Tourist magnet in the border triangle
The ‚Wilhelminatoren‘– in English ‚Wilhelmina tower’ – has an eventful history. Named after Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands, the wooden lookout tower was erected in the year 1905 on the Vaalserberg near the Vaals community. During the Second World War the tower was badly damaged by German artillery fire, built up again twice, and once even moved by 60 metres. In the year 2011 the decision was taken to equip the region’s landmark with every possible convenience. With a skywalk at a height of 35 metres the ‘Wilhelminatoren’ today offers a wonderful view of South Limburg and the German-Belgian border area. The fully renovated ‘Location’ is often and gladly used for special festive occasions.
Upgrading the outdoor area
The restaurant, named after the famous tower ‚Wilhelminatoren‘, counts as a popular social meeting point in the area. There are regularly events, social occasions, as well as all kinds of celebrations there. ‘Our visitors mainly come from the border area, but we also have many guests from further away that are here on holiday, enjoying nature and exploring the region,’ says Adriaan Bos. His restaurant offers 300 seats, and since this summer a further 160 guests can be seated on the new patio outdoors. Thanks to the new design and extension of the patio, the outdoor area has been very much upgraded. The former patio, only reachable by steps, had seen better times. Adriaan Bos had a new patio built on a pole construction on the slanted ground. Restaurant and outdoor area are now connected on one level without any limitations.
Material choice with processor expertise
Adriaan Bos counted on Ron Hermans expertise when he needed to choose building material, as Hermans is owner of Meubel- en Timmerbedrijf Hermans from Vaals. The company’s service scope covers carpentry and joiner tasks, such as creating dormers and eaves, as well as complete interior construction with wood, also furniture production, and patio construction. ‘We do almost anything our customers ask for that we can do,’ says Ron Hermans, trained building technician, and building contractor. His customers come from the Netherlands, Germany, and Belgium.
600 square metres of patio on 42 concrete posts
The plan for the restaurant and patio’s new design was created by architect Roger Martens from the Maastricht architect’s office RMA. ‘My company coordinated the construction of the patio, from putting in the foundations for the concrete posts, up to laying the patio decks and mounting the balustrade,’ says Ron Hermans. To level out the slant in the ground, 42 concrete posts were installed, and then on those a steel construction as a stable sub-construction for the beam layer made of solid azobe hardwood. After mounting the beam layers the patio decks were attached using stainless steel brackets.
The fact that NATURinFORM produces COMPACT at a length of up to 13 metres not only makes work easier for the tradesmen, but is also an optical advantage. ‘There are only few connecting points, creating a beautiful and calm surface atmosphere,’ Ron Hermans shows his enthusiasm. And the surface is made in such a way that this deck can be recommended for utilisation in a forest environment, too. It proved challenging to measure the construction precisely in the steep terrain. After all, the construction had to be executed extremely stably, as many people would be spending time there in future.
High consultation quality from the expert trade
Ron Hermans is a big fan of the wood composite material. ‘An attractive and robust material with good technical characteristics for building paths and patios,’ is his opinion. ‘In comparison to solid wood, this material can easily be kept clean and does not splinter. Little children crawling on the ground cannot be hurt.’ He has had only positive experience with NATURinFORM, says the tradesman expert. He frequently purchases his material from wood trade expert Scherf from Simmerath. The company, founded in 1975, offers everything to do with wood on 25,000 square metres – and of that around 1,000 square metres exhibiting area. Hermans is absolutely convinced of the range, as well as the high consultation quality of his German trader. The patio at the ‘Wilhelminatoren’ was the largest of this kind of project so far that he has worked on with his team. ‘We are a little bit proud of that,’ says Hermans.
Wood composite materials with optical and technical advantages
Wooden surfaces close to densely wooded areas are extremely exposed to environmental impact. Untreated wood quickly becomes slipperly, not only from falling leaves; planks lose their shape, tear, and splinter. Wood composite material behaves quite differently, a successful combination of the optical benefits of natural wood with the technical and functional convincing characteristics of an intelligent material that blocks waterlogging and therefore weathering impacts. Areas equipped with wood composite material decks are non-slippery, even when damp.
To take care of the decks, no environmentally harming chemicals need be used, and varnish is also not necessary, as the decks are already tinted ex works. The weather-proof component is polyethylene, a non-poisonous and environmentally friendly polymer. NATURinFORM produces according to strict ecological requirements. Only PEFC-certified wood from ecologically forested woods is used, no tropical wood, and no newly cut trees, only sawdust.
COMPACT : Highest slip-resistance level
NATURinFORM’s COMPACT, a massive extruded and fully coloured multi-colour deck was used for the gastronomy patio at the restaurant ‘Wilhelminatoren’. The decks are extremely durable and don’t require annual painting. Laying is – as with all of the producer’s decks – possible without any visible screws.
COMPACT has a finely striated and a block strip side. It is available with a width of ca. 139 millimetres and lengths of ca. 3, 4, 5, 6, as well as special lengths from 2-13 metres in a thickness of ca. 26 millimetres. As the surface is usable on both sides it can be used in many applications and is available in the colours brown, anthracite, and grey. In a test by the TÜV Rheinland this patio deck was awarded the highest level of slip-resistance – R12/ R13 according to DIN 51130 and Class C according to DIN 51097.
Protective layer guarantees longterm beauty
As NATURinFORM products still consist of 70 percent wood fibres despite their techical enhancement, wood dominates the optical characteristics so clearly that it is still possible for natural patina to develop due to sun light. But much more controlled than with pure wood: There are no blackish stains from humidity, no faded spots in the colouring. Because the colour particles are included during the melting procedure these are also given a polymer protection layer. The chosen colour will be retained permanently, only to be enhanced by silvery patina reflexes during the first four months outdoors.