The visitor centre at bird sanctuary Tåkern in Östergötland, Sweden, rests delicately on wooden poles at the edge between the forest and the lake
Where the reeds begin
The Lake Tåkern bird sanctuary, with its enormous fields of wetland reeds, teaming underwater life, broad beach meadows, and open woods along the water’s edge, is a kind of paradise – not only for the birds, but also for those who come there to enjoy the wealth that nature has to offer. The site, right at the edge of the forest, allows the building and its tower to be at home in the woods and among the reeds.
At first, the visitor centre looks like a solid block cut from the reeds. However, the thatched building is folded to form an outdoor room, open to the birds and the sky above. The folds generate organic forms that blend right in with the natural surroundings. The centre and its observation tower are intended to be little more than hiding places at the edge of the forest. The dimensions, forms, and materials humbly defer to the Tåkern landscape.
The meandering path through the woods to the tower takes care of its visitors, just as the building’s courtyard shelters them from the wind. The path is more than just a suitable way to view the lake from above. Returning to the woods after having glimpsed the water, all of us, regardless of our mobility, become aware of the life that thrives up in the trees as well.
Lake Tåkern, Väderstad
58° 20' 59.99" N
14° 47' 59.99" E
80,000 per year
Östergötland County Board
Wood, reed, limestone
Nominated for the Kasper Salin Prize