Forest Tower by Studio EFFEKT: a way to reconnect with nature

the Forest tour through EFFEKT was eagerly awaited by all even before its construction and its opening to the public, in March 2019. From the first renderings put online, it became clear that the Danish firm, founded by Sinus Lynge and Tue Foged, intended to create not only a spectacular structure, but a truly unique experience. Indeed, from the start, its intention was to bring visitors closer to nature and offer a new perspective on the Scandinavian boreal forest in which it is located. This concept won him the award of the German Design Council, winner “Best of the Best” in the Concept category. In addition, in 2017 it won the ICONIC award in the Visionary Architecture category and the award for the best tourism initiative in southern Denmark in 2018.
Visually, the new tower rises majestically through the historic forest of Gisselfeld Klosters, a glacial forest with rolling hills, ephemeral streams, lakes, wetlands and meadows located just an hour south of Copenhagen. A setting that already offers a spectacular landscape experience in itself throughout the year through the seasons, as shown Rasmus Hjortshoj striking photographs. The area can be explored at low impact thanks to a 900m long elevated walkway that zigzags through the trees, culminating in the park’s crown jewel: the new 45m high tower with its 650m spiral ramp. m long, offering an unprecedented view of the surrounding natural landscape.
The idea behind building a walkway with a tower at the end was to make the forest accessible to all, without the human presence negatively affecting the natural environment, which is the habitat of a wide range of animal species. A dialogue with the context which also influenced the choice of materials: the tower itself is built in reclaimed steel and locally sourced oak.
Architect Tue Foged says: “Nature offers the real experience. We just made it more accessible and offered a series of new and alternative perspectives.“. It is no coincidence that the tower is shaped in such a way as to optimize the visitor experience, avoiding the typical cylindrical shape in favor of a hourglass curved profile with a thin base and tip in the middle and flared. Indeed, the choice allows customers to get even closer to the forest itself. While the spiral ramp that leads to the viewing platform benefits from the hyperbolic shape, maintaining a fixed tilt angle as it ascends, the geometry and spacing fluctuate depending on the curvature of the tower it -even. As such, it becomes an almost sculptural element that makes the trip to the top of the tower something special and truly inclusive, in that it allows barrier-free access for all visitors. Plus, on a clear day, the top of the tower offers spectacular views for up to 50km, with Copenhagen and Malmö visible to the north and the rugged landscape of southern Zeeland to the south and east.
In conclusion, this new landmark is living proof of how architecture can help people reconnect with nature. EFFEKT has succeeded in achieving this goal by asking the right questions and collaborating with an interdisciplinary approach in their efforts to bridge the gap between cities and natural ecosystems. And all of this for the mutual benefit of all life, human and non-human, for it is the only way we can survive and thrive together as a planet.
The forest tower is part of the Ego to Eco installation (link) that EFFEKT submits to the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia.

Christiane Bürklein

Project: EFFEKT
Location: Gisselfeld Kloster, Denmark
Year: 2019
Images: Rasmus Hjortshoj

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