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Choose your favorite building: Unusual Watching Tower

Choose your favorite building: Unusual Watching Tower

This week (on 31st of August 2021), we take a step up! Among many unusual and original buildings, we count incredible and vertiginous watching towers. If you are not afraid of heights, look at 3 outstanding towers (and visit someday) located in Europe.

1. Marsk Tower

Marsk Tower building
Source photo: Ramsus Hjortshoj

The Marsk Tower translated by “Marsh Tower” owes its name to its location, which is in the marshlands of Denmark’s National Park, Wadden Sea, an UNESCO World heritage site. The Architects in charge of this project are from the Danish design studio Bjarke Ingels Group.

The tower’s design is simple and defined by Corten steel materiality, which is a material both solid and robust. The tower itself is inspired by a human DNA.

BIG worked on the design as part of a local partnership with Marsk Camp Group. The structure was built by local company Schack Trapper.

Information source:
– ArchDaily project page: https://www.archdaily.com/966611/marsk-tower-big
– BIG project page: https://big.dk/#projects-marsk
– Marsk Camp: https://www.marskcamp.com/tower

2. Vlooyberg Tower

Bloomberg tower building
Source photo: Kris Van den Bosch

The Vlooyberg Tower is a watchting tower located in Tielt-Winge, Belgium. The tower was completed in 2013 by the Belgium Engineering Studio Close to Bone. The structure is a great eye-catcher; a tower and a stairway that floats, the distinction can be confusing! To ensure the strongest structure, the Architect and Structural Engineer behind this original, Yves Willems, had to manually calculate the forces acting in each element. His findings gave the stairway tower its ultimate form and dimensions. Finally, its structure was prefabricated and assembled on site section by section, which only took half a day to install.

In 2018, the Vlooyberg Tower was the victim of an arson attack that required the rebuilding and enlargement of its structure, still led by Close to Bone.

Information source:

– ArchDaily Project Page: https://www.archdaily.com/787423/vlooyberg-tower-close-to-bone
– Dezeen Article: https://www.dezeen.com/2018/07/05/vlooyberg-tower-close-to-bone-arson/

3. Mur Tower

Mur Tower building
Source photo: Render ©

The observation tower is located over the river Mur at the Austrian border with Slovenia. Constructed in 2009for an opening at the beginning of spring 2010, the design and planning of the tower and exteriors was done by terrain:loenhart & mayr Architects. The landscape Architects of this project are Munich/Graz.

The idea of the structure of the Mur Tower is a double helix that is perceived as a continuous path rising through the trees. The circular path passes through the different levels of the forest (ecological storeys, floodplain forest) and thus, enables the visitors to experience the eco system and the microclimate of the forest.

The history behind the double spiral comes from the architects, terrain, that were inspired by the Graz Castlestaircase built around 1500 and well known for the unique spatial atmosphere it creates.

A polygonalised spatial structure was developed in collaboration with the structural planners. This development considered all the relevant aspects of the structure and the technical production. An integrated approach was thus adopted for the design process. Indeed, the models designs studied were dimensioned in digital domains to then once again be checked from an architectural point of view in physical models. This process was repeated several times, until the desired structure was established.

Information source:
– Terrain Project Page: https://www.terrain.eco/project/tower-at-the-mur-river
– ArchDaily Project Page: https://www.archdaily.com/121882/observation-tower-on-the-river-mur-terrainloenhartmayr

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