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Mur observation tower

Gosdorf bei Mureck | terrain:loenhart&mayr (2010)


Not a traditional observation tower, but rather a space forming sculpture with an excellent network of walking paths. The Mur observation tower in the small village Gosdorf (1000 inhabitants) affords an exquisite view of the floodplain forest landscape: different sections of ecological forest with rich vegetation and fauna and a stunning panoramic view. When following the directions to the "Murturm" (Mur tower), one first encounters rural banality - unoriginal rustic architecture and modest holiday idylls in fixed campers on the shore of the small lake. After a stroll along established forest paths through alder copses and wet meadows, hikers can rest at an insect hotel, where a new ford emerges in sight.

But then a building rises through the silvery, glistening foliage that fills you with awe. A steel tower made of massive shaped tubes winding upward as a double polygonal line. Ascent and descent take the shape of a double helix. In its intricate geometry the tower appears rather unstable at first glance. This structure is not reminiscent of traditionally designed observation towers that we are all too familiar with. They are not purely functional spaces which do not aspire to serve any other purpose than guiding the visitors in a safe and speedy manner to the highest outlook point and an unobstructed panoramic view. 
Visitors, who eagerly run up the stairs without attempting to contemplate the complexity of the supporting structure and the ascent, will only recognise that ascent and descent are separated by a linear path in the form of a winding movement once they have arrived on top of the 27-metre-high platform. The Mur tower encourages exploration of the natural scenery along the various altitude levels of the floodplain forest –the view on top of the observation platform is not the only goal, but rather a differentiated experience of the landscape on the way to the top.