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Papebird Observation Tower

As.cen.sion: the action of rising to an important position or a higher level.

Before entering the tower, the catwalk will convey the idea of a unique experience to be felt. A tortuous path with different levels introducing the experience of ascension. Two platforms, two different observation experiences. The first, lower and larger, and confined. The second, outdoors and exposed to weathering. Both, the important positions in the tower, elevated, the higher level of the whole.

Design Strategy
An iconic landmark in such a sensitive environment must mix together with the surrounding nature. It should give the impression that it has always been there. A very porous and light metallic structure is proposed in order to weaken the boundaries between exterior and interior: the observer will have continuous contact with the landscape, while the vertical mullions gently frame beautiful pictures of the wildlife outside. Brutally contrasting with this weightlessness, the exposed foundation of the gabion wall creates a solid basis that will soon be bound up by nature around. 

To reinforce the symbiosis between the tower and the surrounding, clambering-plants were inserted to grow along the stair and platforms. Since the tower is located in a flooded area so deep into nature,  it’s certain that plants will naturally grow in the tower and it is worthless to fight against it: nature is a vital component of the building.

A circumscribed tree can be accommodated in the central void, intensifying the immersive experience and also making possible the insertion of the tower in a site that has denser vegetation. Step by step, the observer will go up through a spiral staircase that will allow the discovery of singular breathtaking views. After reaching the platforms, it’s time to comfortably stand and observe: nature and its unbelievable creatures are just there, ready to be seen.

Team João Pedro Facury, Octavio Mendes-Pena & Mayra Reis
Year 2017
Role Lead Designer & visualiser
Category Competition Entry
Stage Concept Design
Location Latvia

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