Tåkern Visitor Centre
by Wingårdhs

| 7 comments
 

This thatched visitor centre by architects Wingårdhs sits beside the shallow waters of Sweden's Lake Tåkern, the annual nesting habitat for over a hundred species of bird (+ slideshow).

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Traditional building techniques were employed to cover the walls and roof of the building with golden reeds, which will fade to grey over time to to match the nearby bird-watching tower that Wingårdhs completed in 2009.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

The thatched exteriors are typical of the temporary hides constructed by bird-watchers and they provide nesting materials and hiding places for small birds such as pipits and wagtails.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: photograph is by Tord-Rickard Söderström

Despite its traditional cladding, the visitor centre has an asymmetric form that folds around an entrance courtyard.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

"This is quiet architecture, using traditional local materials to break new ground with crystalline geometry," explain architects Gert Wingårdh and Jonas Edblad.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: photograph is by Tord-Rickard Söderström

Timber lines the walls inside the visitor centre, while a skylight runs along the ridge of the roof, bringing in natural light as well as allowing visitors to look up to the sky.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

A series of wooden bridges and boardwalks connects the building with the bird-watching tower and car parking area, making each building accessible to visitors in spite of the bumpy terrain.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: photograph is by Tord-Rickard Söderström

Other thatched buildings on Dezeen include a conceptual skyscraper and a domed bar.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: photograph is by Tord-Rickard Söderström

Photography is by Åke E:son Lindman, apart from where otherwise stated.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Here's some more information from Wingårdhs:


All the way out where the forest ends and the reeds begin, a visitor center hovers low on piles set carefully into the water’s edge. The building is clad in thatch, camouflaged like a birdwatcher’s blind, hiding its contents from the natural world that surrounds it.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

This is quiet architecture, using traditional local materials to break new ground with its crystalline geometry. Steep roofs transition seamlessly into walls. The steep pitch gives them longevity. The ridge, where a thatched roof is most vulnerable, is transformed into a glazed skylight.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: photograph is by Tord-Rickard Söderström

The visitor center is the main feature of a series of measures that celebrate Tåkern’s qualities. The path to the building passes a number of landscape exhibits that reveal, for example, changes in the environment. A short distance away stands a bird-watching tower, designed as a sibling to the visitor station.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: site plan - click above for larger image

The whole scheme is interconnected by boardwalks that make the terrain accessible for all. A 140 meter long ramp makes it possible to reach the five meter level by wheels.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: site buildings and elevation - click above for larger image

Among the many exhibits is an aquarium that joins the interior of the visitor center with the pond that has been advantageously exposed next to the building. The center has a closed, sheltering form, resulting in minimal energy consumption. A few strategically placed generous openings connect the building with its surroundings.

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: floor plan - click above for larger image

Location: Lake Tåkern, Sweden
Main building: 680m2

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: long section - click above for larger image

Address: Glänås, Sweden
Architect: Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB trough Gert Wingårdh, Jonas Edblad. Team: Ingrid Gunnarsson, Aron Davidsson, Jannika Wirstad and Peter Öhman.
Plan: Ödeshög municipality

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: cross section - click above for larger image

Client: County of Östergötland
Contract form: General contractor

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: detailed section - click above for larger image

Contractor: Bird watching tower: Håkan Ström AB
Buildings: Skanska Östergötland

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: south elevation - click above for larger image

Gross area: circa 750 sqm
Year of construction: Bird watching tower: 2008- 2009. Buildings: 2010-2012

Takern Visitor Centre by Wingardhs

Above: north elevation - click above for larger image

  • yeahno

    Unusually intriguing.

  • Chaszr

    The visitor centre is breathtaking, even as it is somewhat diminished by the other buildings’ mimicry, reducing the whole experience to formulaic formalism.

    • karl

      As a matter of fact, the small tower was erected way ahead of the centre so the matter of mimicry might be somewhat reversed.

  • Worzel Gummage

    This has made me look at thatching in a whole new way – very impressive. The building is so quiet in its surroundings too.

  • http://twitter.com/barrymaguireni @barrymaguireni

    I really like the thatched shape and form but I’m not so sure about the ‘”lantern” roof light.

    • james

      How do you mean? Would that be an aesthetic judgement or a functional one?

  • Emma

    Truly great lines on the outside!