Landscape architecture – BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group has inaugurated the 25-meter-high and wheelchair-accessible Marsk Tower, offering expansive views of the surrounding natural environment. The tower’s simple design, defined by Corten steel materiality, exudes a natural aesthetic that blends with the surrounding environment while simultaneously becoming Denmark’s new, visible destination.
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“The tower’s double helix provides two stairs and an elevator with a single stack of rotating steel steps, allowing visitors to ascend and descend in a single spiraling loop from the sand to the sky – connecting the marshland to the Wadden Sea.” Says to Archipanic Bjarke Ingels, BIG’s founder and creative director.
Wadden Sea National Park is one of the last remaining large-scale intertidal ecosystems in the world and is widely known for its unique natural environment of sea, dune, woods, heaths, fauna, and wildlife. Together with the nearby wind turbines, the tower’s height of 36-meters above sea level will make it a visual landmark in the region.
“Marsk tower is a testament to our two-decades-long friendship and collaboration with the blacksmiths of Schacks Trapper,” adds Ingels. BIG worked on the design for the observation tower as part of a local partnership with Marsk Camp Group to create an experiential destination that presents the unique landscape from a new perspective, to tourists worldwide.
“Because of the earth’s curvature, visitors will gradually expand their view of the horizon while walking to the top of the tower. On the foot of the tower, you will be able to see 4 km into the distance, but from the top of the tower, the view is expanded to an 18 km view into the horizon,” says Jakob Lange, Bjarke Ingels Group architect and partner.
“The stairs widen at the top of the tower, creating a 110 meter-squared lookout spot with views stretching to the city of Esbjerg, the Islands Rømø and Sylt, and beyond the Wadden Sea to the North Sea.”
“Our ambition is to elevate Southern Jutland’s tourism experience to a new level and present this unique landscape from a new perspective to tourists from all over the world. Marsk Tower affirms this goal, celebrating the contextuality of Wadden Sea National Park’s unique landscape and the Wadden Sea as a UNESCO World Heritage Site to be enjoyed by locals and tourists alike,” explains Jørgen Hansen, Marsk Camp.
Marsk Tower is just one of BIG’s many recent Denmark-based projects that allow architecture to facilitate a relationship between visitors and the natural world. On the west coast, 90 kilometers north of Marsk Tower, is Tirpitz – a museum in the sand that acts as a gentle counterbalance to the dramatic war history of the site in Blåvand. Nestled in dunes at the coastline of the island Fanø, BIG is also working on the Lycium – a museum dedicated to the nature of Fanø and the Wadden Sea.
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All photos by Rasmus Hjortshoj – Courtesy of BIG Bjarke Ingels Group.