Architecture - Bird Watching Tower
150 m2
Pape, LV
Bee Breeders, Pasaules Dabas Fonds
Geoffrey Eberle, Thomas Krall

The Pape Nature Park at the West coast of Latvia is a place defined by constant movement. Visitors wish to experience the migrating birds on their routes to Southern Europe, the gallops of the wild horses and the wandering herds of bisons. Movement is essential even to the visitor himself, travelling along several paths within the Nature Park in order to admire the various Fauna and Flora of Pape, its ecosystems and heritage.

The tower reflects this eternal motion of the natural cycles, wildlife and visitors. And just like the visitor‘s movement merges with pausing and experiencing nature, the circulation in the tower and its observational function merge to one architectural entity. Its spiral shape is not only an invitation to walk up to its top, the user can also pause and observe anytime on the way to the peak. The spiral itself appeals with the protectiveness of the birds nest, and the elegance of its curves bending with the reed in the winds of the Baltic sea. Its appearance and materiality is not not only a homage to the previous observation tower, but also references vernacular Latvian construction materials and methods. Overall, the tower is a calm and localized landmark, blending in with the nature from which it arises, while also setting a distinguished focus point for the visitors of the Nature Park.

The tower is designed as a self-balancing structure based on a lightweight steel construction. It is an ideal combination of precise prefabrication, and assembly on site, reducing the dimensions of elements and avoiding heavy machines disturbing the sensible landscape. Due to a high amount of repetitive construction elements and local materials used, the cost of the tower can be essentially reduced.