FACILITIES, THATCHED ROOF, SUSTAINABLE
WingA?rdhs studio: wingardhs.es
The opportunity of planning a visitor center at Lake TA?kern began with an invited competition in 2007. WingA?rdhs said to en.presstinternational: “Designing a building that helps guide visitors is a gratifying task for an architect. While the conditions are more open than for most building projects, the goal for these buildings is to heighten the visitors experience of nature, and that places great demands on both their design and their execution.” The Lake TA?kern Bird Sanctuary, with its enormous fields of wetland reeds, teaming underwater life, broad beach meadows, and open woods along the water s edge, is a kind of paradise and not just for the birds, but also for those who come to enjoy the wealth that nature has to offer.
The TA?kern Visitor Center looks at first like a solid block cut from the reeds. But the thatched building is actually folded to form an outdoor room open to the birds and the sky above. The tower might recall a shorebird on long legs or a birdwatcher hunkering down with a cap pulled down over his ears. The look of the main building is more a consequence of the interior s minimal need for openings. Exhibits prefer enclosed spaces, but also daylight from above. In addition to skylights at the ridge, the building needed light and views from three different points. The first is the entrance, where contact with the courtyard outside makes the way into the exhibition short and pleasant. The second opening is a view out along the entrance axis that leads visitors into the exhibition space. The third is in the far corner of the space, where a long and low window offers a panoramic view. The meandering path through the woods to the tower takes care of its visitors, just as the building s courtyard shelters them from the wind.
Thatch is a practical material that can easily be renewed if it should be damaged. When laid over a solid sheathing, air can t get under it to feed a fire, so the material will do no worse than smolder. The roof and walls are clad with more than 25 centimeters of thatch over 20 centimeters of insulation, and together they make for a cozy refuge. The steep pitch of the roofs gives the thatching an estimated lifespan of more then fifty years. A small portion of the lake s reeds are cut every year in the early spring, and the 2011 harvest from V versunda farm was used to clad the building (some 36 million reeds in all). It is not the only local material used in the building: there s also Borghamn limestone from the across the lake in Omberg, and pine from the surrounding forests of sterg tland County.
Studio: WingA?rdh arkitektkontor AB
Project name: Naturum Takern
Location: Gl nA?s, Sweden
Typology: Public facilities
Project Team: DESIGN TEAM Gert WingA?rdh, Jonas Edblad ENGINEERS Cowi, Bengt Dahlgren AB, WSP, Bengt Dahlgren AB, Akustikforum AB
Size and total area: gross floor area 750 sqm
Image credits Courtesy of: Tord-Rickard S derstr m , ke Eson Lindman, Christian Badenfelt