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

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

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