Luna Productions: Hardwald Observation Tower - best architects 24

Luna Productions

Hardwald Observation Tower

best architects 24

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Hardwald forest district, Switzerland


Ladina Bischof


Located centrally in the Hardwald forest, the 41.5 m high observation tower is visible from afar emerging above the treetops. As a project of the forest district and its neighbouring communities, use of timber from the forest itself is accordingly emphasised in the tower’s design and materiality. A total of eight different local tree species were used in the tower according to their specific properties. The fundamental design relies on the equilateral triangle as the structurally ideal shape. Two triangles were combined in each case to form lozenges, and four such pairs were then stacked on top of each other, each rotated 60 degrees and connected to the one below, creating four viewing platforms. The result is a sculptural body whose silhouette looks different depending on the observer’s point of view. The structure is clad with a protective skin of wooden slats that appears to be sealed or permeable, depending on the perspective. Underground, in each of the four corners, groupings of four micropile foundations stretch 20 m deep – almost like the roots of a tree. The tower, with its strong skeleton and filigree skin, is subjected to constant change, showing itself differently depending on the viewpoint, time of day and its age.