In 2013, the province of Drenthe constructed a new waterway connection between Erica and Ter Apel districts. The canal leads straight through Oosterbos and over Hondsrug. To accommodate the various height differences between the canal points, the new channel contains a series of locks, consisting of a coupling lock and two further locks in succession, overcoming a total height of five meters. The project is an adjacent lock keeper's house, with an additional public toilet function.
The locks will be used by tourist boats, but they also provide recreational value for passing walkers and cyclists, as the docking and maneuvering of the boats provides a pleasant spectacle. The lock keeper's house has an unobstructed view towards the lock. The main design concept is to share that view with the visitor, in order to make the building volume as interactive as possible. Therefore, the house has been equipped with a viewpoint on top, serving as a public space.
The design of the building as well as the materials used, refer to the industrial past, blending perfectly with the industrial and mechanized look of the canal.