Seljord Watchtower – Norway Structure

Seljord Watchtower, Norway Structure Design, Telemark Development, Norwegian Architecture, Architect

Seljord Watchtower, Norway : Telemark Architecture

Norwegian Lookout Building Development – design by Rintala Eggertsson Architects

30 Apr 2013

Seljord Utkikkstårn

Design: Rintala Eggertsson Architects

Location: Telemark, Norway

Seljord Watchtower Telemark

The myth about a sea serpent in the lake of Seljord has become an integral part of how the local people of Telemark conceive their majestic landscape. Tales about mysterious phenomena in the lake have flourished for centuries and are a natural part of the daily life in the area.

Seljord Watchtower Norway
photo : Dag Jenssen

In 2008, the municipality of Seljord decided to use this mythical feature as a point of departure for a development programme for the area. Together with the curators Springer kulturstudio and Feste Grenland, they commissioned Rintala Eggertsson Architects to design different lookout points around the lake to ease the access for local population and visitors to experience the lake at some important places. The assignment was divided into two parts; first to design three small installations in the mid- and southeast section of the lake and then to design a larger viewpoint in the northwest end of the lake.

Seljord Watchtower Norway Seljord Watchtower Norway Seljord Watchtower Norway Seljord Watchtower Norway
photos : Dag Jenssen

The site for the main viewpoint was already inhabited by two large pine trees, which became the physical anchoring point of our building. As the room programme listed a viewing platform and a small shelter for exhibitions, the two functions were placed on each side of the trees, with a connecting deck in-between.

Seljord Watchtower Norway
photo : Dagur Eggertsson

The viewing platform was then given the form of a tower with a main space at the top overlooking the lake and two smaller spaces on the on the lower levels, one facing a nearby bird nesting area and the other one facing the crown of the trees. This organization allows the visitor to get a good perception of the physical surroundings before their encounter with the myths of the Seljord lake.

Size: 33,9m2

Sustainability: The watchtower is a close to zero-emission building; lit only by 12 low energy LED-light fixtures and no heating system installed.

Seljord Watchtower images / information from Rintala Eggertsson Architects

Rintala Eggertsson Architects

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