Naturum Store Mosse

Naturum Store Mosse

Naturum Store Mosse is a visitor centre that transports guests into the heart of folklore, while recanting the tale of the region’s 14,000 year history; from Ice Age to present day.

Where the trees end and the marsh takes over

Forest covers 75% of Småland and has historically provided the main source of income. Crops could not survive in the wet marshlands so instead, inhabitants turned to the forest to equip them with homes, furniture, and fuel. Naturum Store Mosse is hidden from the main road within the forest fringes. An elevated footbridge zigzags through the trees, leading to a cabin structure immersed within the trees. The visitor centre shares a language with the traditional A-frame timber barn however, the south-facing wall has been left semi-enclosed. Adjustable louvres allow light to stream in during the day, and to spill out from the interior at night.

Client: The County Administrative Board of Jönköping
Location: Hillerstorp, Sweden
Status: Completed 2003
Area: 300 sqm
Visuals: Mikael Olsson

The intention was to design a building that everyday people could relate to, both inside and out.

Floating about a metre above ground level, the building is supported by two 36 metre-long structural beams resting on four granite supports in the unspoilt terrain. The structural timber frame is visible from the outside and in; exposed roof trusses, cross-braces and hangers give the building an identity that complements the surroundings.

The elevated walkway is a gateway to another place; between the natural world and the supernatural.

Fourteen screen-printed glass panels housed in a solid loadbearing structure tells the story of the marshland’s 14,000 year history; from the evolution of flora and fauna, to how human intervention shaped landscape. The clear panels are backlit; natural light penetrates between the louvres of the semi-enclosed façade and animates the illustrations.

The glass panels are complemented by ironwork blued with linseed oil, wooden models and native luffarslöjd – wirecraft artefacts. The exhibition draws visitors from the entrance towards the glazed wall at the other end. This is a sheltered vantage point from with to survey the sedge and willow, swans and swifts, dragonflies and bog myrtle, as they go about their daily lives.

Every Swede knows the reputation of the Småland woodlands from John Bauer's illustrations of folklore. It is hard not to see the references; moss-covered boulders become curly haired trolls, knotty branches become arms, while the sunbeams that pierce the tree canopy dance like elves.

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