- Sustainable Architecture
- Seljord observation tower blends into its natural surroundings
Oslo-based Rintala Eggertsson Architects were commissioned by the municipality to design a series of lookout points around the lake in Seljord, Norway. According to a centuries-old myth, the lake is said to be home to Selma, a lake monster who attracts a number of tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of her each year.
The project hopes to capitalize on the myth by creating new infrastructure to improve the lake experience for the local community and visitors alike.
Three small lookout points, located in the middle and southeast sections of the lake, were the object of a building workshop dedicated on how to tie man-made constructions into the landscape without dominating it. Under the leadership of the firm, students and professors from the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti and Politecnico in Milan and scenography students from the Norwegian Theatre Academy worked together to integrate these small shelters into their natural surroundings.
The main lookout point stands at the southwest end of the lake on a site with two tall pine trees, whose vast canopies create a naturally shaded area. To one side of the trees is a small building to house exhibitions; a deck connects it to the tower on the other side of the trees.
This elegant tower made entirely of local wood offers three distinct viewing areas: two smaller spaces on the way up face a bird nesting area and the top of the pine trees, while the top platform offers breathtaking views of the lake and perhaps, with any luck, the elusive Selma!