A massive, egg-shaped bird observatory features reusable natural materials

April 25, 2019 by  
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Bird lovers in the Netherlands now have a new way of watching their feathered friends thanks to the recent opening of the Tij, a massive wooden bird observatory created with sustainability in mind. Designed by Amsterdam-based RAU Architects in collaboration with Ro&Ad Architects , the unique bird blind is in the shape of an egg in a nod to the thousands of large terns that nest nearby. To reduce environmental impact, the architects constructed the observatory primarily out of wood with modular construction so that the structure can be taken apart, moved and rebuilt in a different location. Opened this month, the Tij is part of the Droomfonds Haringvliet, a project started by six nature organizations and supported by the Droomfonds of the National Postcode Lottery to conserve and bring recreational opportunities to the Haringvliet, a large inlet of the North Sea in South Holland . The Tij was strategically located at the water’s edge to overlook spectacular nature views and the rich bird life, including the terns’ nesting grounds on the small islands off the coast of Scheelhoek. “Thanks to its complete rebuilding capabilities, modularity and materialization, it fully meets all the key points for a sustainable structure with circular potential,” explained Thomas Rau, chief architect of Tij, which was named in reference to the tide and the egg-shaped design. “By building everything in such a way that everything can be taken apart without losing any of its value, we ensure that the strain on the ecosystem is minimal. The shape of the observatory is extra special, mimicking the egg of the large tern. Nature itself produced this shape.” Related: IKEA teams up with London artists to upcycle old furniture into funky abodes for birds, bees and bats The parametrically designed bird observatory is built mainly of natural materials . The large wood panels are made by a file-to-factory Zollinger construction while the slim poles are chestnut. The facade is covered with local reeds sourced from the Scheelhoek nature reserve and pre-used bulkheads were repurposed into the tunnel to the observatory. In case of rising water levels, the lower portion of the bird observatory can be safely submerged under water without sustaining damage; the bottom part of the “egg” is built of Accoya wooden beams and the floor is made from wood and concrete. + RAU Architects Photography by Katja Effting via RAU Architects

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A massive, egg-shaped bird observatory features reusable natural materials

Timber tower taps into an abandoned airfields rebirth as bird nesting ground

January 29, 2018 by  
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An abandoned airfield on a Norwegian island is being reclaimed by nature, and bird lovers are invited to partake in the fun. Norwegian architect Lars J Berge of LJB Architecture and Landscape completed a beautiful viewing platform that punctuates the landscape like a sculpture and provides sufficient cover for discrete birdwatching . Located at the tip of Askøy off Norway’s west coast, Herdla Birdwatching Tower is a timber building constructed atop existing concrete foundations that date back to the Second World War. Set in a relatively flat and sandy landscape popular with migrating and breeding birds, Herdla Birdwatching Tower commands beautiful 360-degree views of distant mountains and seaside from a circular viewing platform. Below the viewing area is a pumping station enclosed in a rectangular volume and an underground water tank. The seven-meter-tall structure is clad in vertical strips of timber, which will develop a silvery patina over time. Related: Pape Bird Observation Tower is a glorious marriage of a bird’s nest and a jewel box Visitors access the birdwatching tower via a L-shaped ramp with a slope gentle enough for a manual wheelchair user to navigate. The ramp also shelters a small amphitheater with timber steps. The ramp leads to a landing with a spiraling metal staircase that opens up to a higher viewing platform. A circular overhanging roof provides shelter from the elements and helps disguise visitors from birds. + LJB Architecture and Landscape Via Dezeen Images by Anders E Johnsson

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Timber tower taps into an abandoned airfields rebirth as bird nesting ground

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