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BIG completes corten steel double helix observation tower in Denmark’s Wadden Sea National Park
Denmark Architecture News - Aug 13, 2021 - 11:40 1716 views
A 25-metre corten steel tower is made of a double helix structure and acts as a sculptural art object rising out of the landscape.
Named Marsk Tower, the structure was opened to the public and will provide a new gathering place in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wadden Sea National Park.
"Marsk tower is a testament to our two decades-long friendship and collaboration with the blacksmiths of Schacks Trapper," said Bjarke Ingels, Founder and Creative Director, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group.
"The double helix provides two stairs and an elevator with a single stack of rotating steel steps, allowing visitors to ascend and descend in a single spiraling loop from the sand to the sky – connecting the marsh land to the Wadden Sea," Ingels added.
Developed as part of a local partnership with Marsk Camp Group, it is located within Marsk Camp to attract tourists to this area that offers expansive views of the natural environment, surrounded by UNESCO World Heritage-listed marshland.
BIG's structure functions as an observation lookout that facilitates community as a key tourist landmark. There is a wheelchair access in the tower, an elevator is located in the core of the tower to provide access via the ground level ramp.
The tower is based on a simple design, defined by corten steel materiality, to emphasize a natural aesthetic that blends with the surrounding environment while simultaneously becoming a new, visible destination in Denmark.
Wadden Sea National Park is one of the last remaining large-scale intertidal ecosystems in the world and is widely known for its unique natural environment of sea, dune, woods, heaths, fauna, and wildlife.
"Our ambition is to elevate Southern Jutland’s tourism experience to a new level and present this unique landscape from a new perspective to tourists from all over the world," said Jørgen Hansen, Marsk Camp.
"Marsk Tower affirms this goal, celebrating the contextuality of Wadden Sea National Park’s unique landscape and the Wadden Sea as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike," Hansen added.
Marsk Tower provides 360-degree views
Together with the nearby wind turbines, the tower’s height of 36-meters above sea level will make it a visual landmark in the region.
"Because of the earth curvature, visitors will gradually expand their view of the horizon while walking to the top of the tower. On the foot of the tower, you will be able to see 4 km into the distance, but from the top of the tower the view is expanded to an 18 km view into the horizon," said Jakob Lange, Architect and Partner, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group.
"The stairs widen at the top of the tower, creating a 110 meter-squared lookout spot with views stretching to city of Esbjerg, the Islands Rømø and Sylt, and beyond the Wadden Sea to the North Sea."
The 12-hectare area around Southern Jutland’s new landmark, in addition to the 25-meter-high lookout tower, also comprises Marsk Camp, a tourist destination that includes restaurants, a mini golf course, glamping tents, an icehouse, and accommodations for up to 126 motorhomes, with room to expand.
Marsk Tower is just one of BIG’s many recent Denmark-based projects that allow architecture to facilitate a relationship between visitors and the natural world.
Ground floor plan. Image © BIG
Section. Image © BIG
On the west coast, 90 kilometers north of Marsk Tower, Tirpitz Museum is another key project of BIG completed in 2017, the museum in the sand acts as a gentle counterbalance to the dramatic war history of the site in Blåvand.
Nestled in dunes at the coastline of the island Fanø, BIG is also working on the Lycium – a museum dedicated to the nature of Fanø and the Wadden Sea.
Project name: Marsk Tower
Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange
Project Leader(s): Tobias Hjortdal
Project Team: Matilda Blomgren, Annette Jensen, Erik Kreider, Joshua Woo, Federico Martinez De Sola, Stefan Plugaru
Size in m2: 25m High
Project type: Tower
Client: MARSK Camp
Collaborators: HB Trapper (Construction), Structual Ing: AFRY
Location Text: Hjemsted, Denmark
All images © Rasmus Hjortshoj
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