Black Forest Visitor’s Centre
The new visitor’s centre, located deep within the Black Forest, proposes a structure that relates to the landscape at a number of scales. Firstly, the centre forms a landmark of a tower-like “house” emerging from the forest canopy. Secondly, the building is expressed as an entirely timber structure, using innovative and modern timber building technologies that reference the vernacular building crafts of the area.
Within the close proximity of the building, the “house” has a scaleless quality rising above the tree tops. This is a building that is intended to complement the forest in its form and materials. As a tower, it asserts a minimum footprint in the forest floor ecosystem. Its unusual stepped figure is given scale and a purposeful connection between inside and outside with large windows to view the trees at various levels.
The building is organised with light-filled gallery spaces at the top, and lecture theatre and education spaces with direct external connection located near to the forest floor. The entrance to the visitor centre at the middle floor of the tower is imagined as a “skywalk”, which passes through some of the finest trees above the forest floor. The slender bridge structure touches the ground delicately and is deliberately non-linear in its path so visitors can experience the trees at all levels and in close proximity.
Client: Nationalpark Schwarzwald
Location: Black Forest, Germany
Model photography: Richard Davies