An abandoned airfield on a Norwegian island is being reclaimed by nature, and bird lovers are invited to partake in the fun. Norwegian architect Lars J Berge of LJB Architecture and Landscape completed a beautiful viewing platform that punctuates the landscape like a sculpture and provides sufficient cover for discrete birdwatching. Located at the tip of Askøy off Norway’s west coast, Herdla Birdwatching Tower is a timber building constructed atop existing concrete foundations that date back to the Second World War.
Set in a relatively flat and sandy landscape popular with migrating and breeding birds, Herdla Birdwatching Tower commands beautiful 360-degree views of distant mountains and seaside from a circular viewing platform. Below the viewing area is a pumping station enclosed in a rectangular volume and an underground water tank. The seven-meter-tall structure is clad in vertical strips of timber, which will develop a silvery patina over time.
Visitors access the birdwatching tower via a L-shaped ramp with a slope gentle enough for a manual wheelchair user to navigate. The ramp also shelters a small amphitheater with timber steps. The ramp leads to a landing with a spiraling metal staircase that opens up to a higher viewing platform. A circular overhanging roof provides shelter from the elements and helps disguise visitors from birds.
Images by Anders E Johnsson