The brief for the open competition stressed the importance of designing an exemplar scheme with heavyweight sustainability credentials. Another factor was that the visitor centre needed to be easily accessible from Hjälmaren. Naturum Oset takes its inspiration from the historical landscape transformation, and promotes active local involvement in the protection of the reserve. Additional overnight visitor pavilions are also planned among the tree trunks, allowing guests immerse themselves fully within nature.
Taking ownership of the landscape
The new centre allows visitors reflect upon the diversity of lakes and the rolling green glades of the landscape. Naturum Oset is not one single building, but a cluster of pavilions. The largest of these pavilions are partially subset into a hillock, yet the distinctive form of the asymmetric roofs remain visible. The lakes will be developed over several levels in harmony with the land. An orangery will replace the old harbour office so that visitors can participate in the cultivation of plants and trees on the hills.
Merging into nature
Naturum Oset is designed to have the energy efficiency of Passivhaus at a Miljöbyggnad Gold standard level. Achieving harmony with the surroundings is paramount; both for the ambitions of the centre and mediating the visitor experience, as well as in terms of environmental impact. The main gallery exhibition room and assembly halls offer unobtrusive views across the emerging landscape and lakes, while locally sourced materials and roofs clad with solar cells ensure a low impact visitor centre for generations to come.