BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group’s double-helix Marsk Tower opened in Southern Denmark
The Marsk Tower, a new landmark and lookout point designed by acclaimed architecture firm BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group has been inaugurated on August 22, 2021, in Southern Jutland, Denmark. The tower was created to provide a new gathering place in the UNESCO World Heritage site of Wadden Sea National Park.
The 25-meter-high Marsk Tower is made up of two spiral stairs, one allowing the visitors to ascend the structure and the other to go down it, whose design, as BIG write, was inspired by a string of human DNA but, in our opinion, is also strongly reminiscent of the famous Leonardo da Vinci’s double helix staircase built at the Chambord Castle, France, in the early-16th century.
“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,” Jakob Lange, Architect and Partner, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group, says. “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.”
BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group 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 to tourists all over the world. 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, and wildlife.
According to the architects, the tower’s simple design, defined by the materiality of Cor-Ten steel, is aimed at “exude a natural aesthetic that blends with the surrounding environment”.
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.
Partner-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels, Jakob Lange
Project Leader(s): Tobias Hjortdal
Project Team: Matilda Blomgren, Annette Jensen, Erik Kreider, Joshua Woo, Federico Martinez De Sola, Stefan Plugaru
Name: MARSK TOWER
Client: MARSK Camp
Collaborators: HB Trapper (Construction), Structural Ing: AFRY
Location: Hjemsted, Denmark
Photos by Rasmus Hjortshoj courtesy of BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group
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