Timber observation tower shaped
like "a cucumber" by Mjölk Architekti

| 24 comments
 

This 25-metre wooden lookout in the Czech Republic by Mjölk Architekti is named Cucumber Tower in an attempt to discourage association with phallic forms (+ slideshow).

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti

Constructed from larch, the tower has a straight shaft with a curved top, which accommodates a rooftop viewing platform looking out across the Czech woodland and on towards Germany and Poland.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti

"We called it a cucumber due to a certain shape similarity, and also in order to avoid other vulgar associations," architect Jan Vondrák of Mjölk Architekti told Dezeen.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti

The architects designed the tower before finding a site or a client. It was then commissioned by the mayor of the town Heřmanice for a rural site along a Czech mountain range called the Ještěd-Kozákov Ridge.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti

The structure took three months to build and comprises a pair of staircases arranged in a double-helix foramtion. The exterior is made up of vertical, bolted lengths of wood and is supported by curved wooden slats, which act as cross bracing.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti

Five curved lengths make up a larch balustrade for the staircase and guide visitors to the top.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti

Photography is by Roman Dobeš.

Here is some information from the designer:


The Cucumber tower

One of our showcase projects was born shortly after our architecture office was founded.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti
Plan - click for larger image

We moved to a house on the Jested ridge and spent two weeks thinking about what we actually wanted to do as architects. And just like that, without a commission, without a specific setting in mind, we came up with the design of this observation tower.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti
Elevation - click for larger image

Situating buildings in an open landscape is an unusual architectural discipline, yet in northern Bohemia it has a long tradition that we can take up with confidence.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti
Construction stage 1, top of the structure - click for larger image

Once the design was finished, we started looking for a customer. Naive, you say?
 Not a bit! Within a month we found an enthusiastic taker – the mayor of Heřmanice, Mr. Stribrny.We found ourselves at a meeting of the town council in earnest discussion about how to carry out this project.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti
Construction stage 2, top of the structure - click for larger image

During the following couple of months, we received a building permit and secured EU funding for an extensive project involving the construction of a network of bicycle trails whose center point was to be the Heřmanice observation tower.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti
Final construction, top of the structure - click for larger image

Three villages have ended up participating in the project – Heřmanice, Detrichov and the Polish village of Bogatynia.

Timber observation tower shaped like a cucumber by Mjölk Architekti
Detail of cross bracing - click for larger image

Architects: Mjölk architekti, Jan Mach, Jan Vondrák, Pavel Nalezený
Height of tower: 25 metres
Location: Heřmanice, Poland Czech Republic
Budget: 140,000 euros

  • yogesh

    Everyone is thinking it, so I might as well say it… PENIS! Now let’s hear some constructive critiques.

  • Trent

    PENIS!

  • Nerdy

    Zaha says “It’s not a vagina”

  • Mark Walker

    Got wood.

  • Has

    Was this recently erected?

  • Reynaldo Nicholson Coe

    Very phallic.

  • Mark

    They found an enthusiastic taker.

  • San

    Looks like it would be pretty ‘hard on’ your legs walking all the way up that ‘shaft’.

  • San

    This article is well written. Seminal stuff.

  • Jitka

    Hermanice, CZECH REPUBLIC!

    • http://www.dezeen.com/ Dezeen Magazine

      Hi Jitka,

      Thank you for pointing this out. I have corrected the article accordingly.

      Kind regards,

      Grace/Dezeen

  • frank

    Call a dog a cat, it’s still gonna be a dog.
    Superficial name calling aside, the wood workmanship and planning looks good.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz PolishBear

    Okay, so it has a phallic shape. All joking aside though, I think it’s great. It’s obviously well-constructed and I’d welcome the opportunity to climb to the top for the view.

  • Dave

    Would fit in perfectly with Zaha’s vagina-stadium…

  • Colonel Pancake

    Criticism is dead.

  • bonsaiman

    Beautiful work.

  • Dadiani
  • mwigle

    It would be interesting to know how many trees were needed to construct this.

  • TotallyRandomName

    Did they face stiff competition to erect this?

  • ebjahsucgu

    A cucumber is not phallic? Who knew?

  • FilbertEast

    Nice wood.

  • pozz

    I find it childish that nearly any cylindrically shaped tower is susceptible of being called phallic. This is about as phallic as Foster’s Apple headquarters (a
    torus) is a vagina.

  • Antoine

    Now I am wondering what would look more authentic: the Gherkin or the Cucumber?

  • Antoine

    Addendum: I meant look more authentic when inserted into Zaha’s ‘Stadium’.