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Wytypuj najlepszy projekt w 11. edycji konkursu „Najlepszy Dyplom ARCHITEKTURA”
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Wildlife, horses, lakes. A project by students of the Silesian University of Technology

Dobrawa Bies
15 of October '20

Kamil Lipski, Wojciech Pisula and Agnieszka Slota from the Silesian University of Technology have created a design for a viewing tower in the area of the North Vilnius Biosphere Reserve in Latvia. The work took part in an international competition entitled. "Kurgi Observation Tower" organized by the Bee Breeders platform.

The competition task organized by Bee Breeders Architecture Competition in cooperation with Kurgi Farm was to design an observation tower in the area of the North Volyn biosphere reserve in Latvia. Kurgi Farm, near which the site for the structure was designated, is a stud farm and a place offering recreation in a wilderness setting. The stud's greatest boast is an endangered breed of horse - the Latvian Ardennes, considered an integral part of the local heritage.

Thecompetition requirement was to design a viewing tower from which visitors could admire the horses and the rugged Baltic landscape. The proposed building was to be a distinctive landmark located on top of a hill overlooking the surrounding lakes, glacier-formed hills, rolling plains and forests. The tower should not exceed 35 meters in height and consist of five stories - four with open views and an upper platform with a sheltered space suitable for use in all seasons. The structure, accessible to all, was to include an outdoor balcony, a seating area, a table and a heat source. The structure should be made of metal and wood.

The tower consists of several levels and a year-round observation point at the top

© Kamil Lipski, Wojciech Pisula, Agnieszka Slota

An observation tower in the midst of wild fields

In the immediate vicinity of the plot of land intended for the construction of the tower is located the Kurga farm, which consists of several squat buildings and trees. Surrounding it are fields and wet meadows, bordered by a dense forest.
This tranquil and dreamy scenery became the backdrop for the eye-catching sculptural form of the observation tower. The strong delineation of the staircase running upward provides a distinctive accent against the landscape. From the farm to the tower is a paved path winding through the wetlands of the Latvian halves. Along the way, a short distance from the farm buildings, the authors placed an object reminiscent of the typical Latvian village buildings. This form is a hollowed-out section from the main volume of the tower. This created a strong opening that invites visitors. On the other hand, the object protruding into the foreground serves as a pergola and a feedlot for horses.

Aksonometria wieży Przekrój wieży obserwacyjnej

steel mesh and monolithic stairs are characteristic features of the structure

© Kamil Lipski, Wojciech Pisula, Agnieszka Słota

openwork construction and symbolism

Approaching the tower, in addition to the monolithic structure of the staircase, the detail in the form of a steel mesh surrounding the block attracts attention. As in the feedlot, two signs of inverted triangles are discernible on the grid. Both refer to old Latvian mythology.

As the authors say about the symbolism:

The triangle facing upwards with its apex symbolizes the gods and points to heaven, the place where they dwell, while marking the visitor's destination. The downward-facing triangle, on the other hand, is a symbol of the material world. According to ancient beliefs, these symbols balance each other. This symbolism also finds its expression in the design, which is intended to use matter to ascend to the sky.

z ostatniego poziomu Widok całego otoczenia

The terrace crowning the building allows observation of the surroundings

© Kamil Lipski, Wojciech Pisula, Agnieszka Slota

While hiking to the top, the Latvian landscape can be observed from all sides. Nature, through the openwork enclosure of the tower, penetrates into its interior and is constantly present in the field of view. Larger openings allow free contemplation of the play of light, colors and smells. With each successive level, picturesque hills, lakes and forests become discernible. A terrace crowning the entire structure and an enclosed room allow uninterrupted delight in nature. As the authors add - Here one journey ends, but another can begin.


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