Denmark. Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter redesigns Tipperne bird sanctuary

Three architectural tools – an observation tower, a bird hide and a workshop – suggest as many possible ways to look at the landscape and its wildlife.

Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter, bird sanctuary, Tipperne, Denmark, 2017

“Instruments in the landscape”: this is how Søren Johansen and Sebastian Skovsted, the founders of Copenhagen-based firm Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter, define the various buildings that they have designed inside Tipperne bird sanctuary. Located alongside the west coast of the Danish peninsula, this natural reserve is an important stopping point on the migration path of many birds species, in addition to be the most ancient spot for their monitoring in the entire European continent. The main goal of Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter’s design is to make it accessible to the public by providing it with a few basic equipment, while at the same time respecting its delicate balance.
A continuous ring road links a visitor center – hosted in the existing Tipper House, whose original external features have been integrally preserved – a small workshop and the two main viewpoints (an observation tower and a bird hide). 

Each one of these three newly-built architectures is conceived as an object, made of a single, specific material and standing out from the landscape. The workshop is a compact block of black painted aluminum, with a moderately double-pitched roof; the tower, an aerial structure of galvanized iron, and the bird hide, a corten steel shed, share a similar triangular plan, the latter also showing a three-sided section.
The tower is doubtlessly the most complex building, displaying a few compelling solutions: all its individual elements, including the handrails, stairs and landings, form part of its overall structural system; each level slightly cantilevers from the lower one, so that a very limited ground floor extension can bear a larger elevated platform; to conclude, an elaborate system of movable shadings allows each visitor to customize its relationship to the landscape, the wildlife and the weather conditions.

Img.28 Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter, bird sanctuary, Tipperne, Denmark, 2017.
Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter, bird sanctuary, Tipperne, Denmark, 2017.
Tipperne bird sanctuary
visitor center, observation tower, bird hide, workshop
Tipperne, Danimarca
Johansen Skovsted Arkitekter, in collaboration with Bertelsen & Scheving Arkitekter
The Danish Nature Agency

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