THE MAN’S HIGH NEST
Competition, bird watching tower 2017
Pape Nature Park, Latvia
Collaborator: Cristian Li Voi
“…something rises from the swamp…”
The very aim of this project is to propose a building capable of blending in with the context. Our ambition as designers is to create a little architecture as a link between birds and birds’ lovers. Almost a spontaneous manifestation, that can be a reference for humans and the local fauna as well. An element of the landscape to experience the landscape itself, an evocative place for the visitors.
The curvilinear path allows you to immerse in the water reeds, creating visual walls leading you to the birdwatch tower: the effect we searched for is that you never see the bottom of the tower, it always emerges from the vegetation. It does not show itself entirely, you have to get closer and closer to discover it slowly. To enter, indeed, you have to walk around until the striated skin opens up to the staircase.
The observation tower is developed through a generative and parametric process which place in a relationship the two main viewpoints. The major apertures visible from the outside have a specific orientation, based on the location of the tower: one faces the lake and the other looks towards the sea. The very same process can be used to generate other towers with a different view position in order to have a family of different buildings but with a similar look. Thanks to the layering of the architectural elements, fissures, and small apertures are generated throughout the whole surface, giving the visitors different opportunities to relate to the observed environment.
There are three main layers building our proposal; there is a main structure build up with glued laminated timber, a secondary structure made through a series of parametrically pre-cutted5X5 cm wood beams and a final thatch covering, following the particular orientation of the bottom wood layer and fading from the top down. This layer, that covers the dome and the areas surrounding the eyes, gives that sense of protection, intimacy and mimicry.
At the ground level, a poche space in between the two layers defines the entrance and the access to the two floors, where a staircase connects the spaces. The floors are interacting with each other letting perceive the space as a unique whole from the inside; this allows to maintain an even distribution of visitors between the two viewpoints and to let experience and perceive nicely the spaces without the risk of feeling uncomfortable and claustrophobic. This architecture wants to be a special place, that protects its visitors, both humans, and animals.