Straight tower that appears curved wins competition in Varberg

White has won an architectural competition arranged by the municipality of Varberg, Sweden, for a landmark 12 metre tall observation tower.

The brief called for an iconic structure with a viewing platform in a stimulating and experiential environment attracting a range of visitors. The winning proposal will be constructed entirely of wood, made up of 140 wooden ribs that form a three-dimensional woven structure. White’s design development was led by the hyperboloid construction principle, made up with a lattice of straight beams the tower creates the illusion of being curved.

With a simple and clear form, the hourglass-shaped scheme will be visible from the city’s northern areas, including from the nearby railway and the main entrance road. Located on a flat landscape on the border where the land meets the sea, the observation tower, which will be free to access, will offer visitors uninterrupted viewsof the surrounding landscape.

“Given the ecological challenges that our society is facing, we are particularly proud to contribute to the development of a sustainable place as well as with a construction that puts people in direct contact with nature in an inspiring way,” says Mattias Lind, architect at White.

The jury stated that White Arkitekter’s proposal distinguishes itself with a form that provokes thought and raises questions from the viewer. A representative of the jury said “The strongest aspect of the proposal is its simple yet exciting form, which gives the tower the opportunity to become a very clear landmark. The form stimulates reflection – how can something straight actually be perceived as bent?”

The tower will form part of the development of Varberg’s new ecological recreation area at the Getterön nature reserve. Construction of the scheme is scheduled to start in 2021.

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