Fig: 1 - Australian forests show a diverse range of dense flora and fauna spread around the country area.forests
Picturing Australia is incomplete without the green lush of generation and diverse ecosystem available in its region. Starting from the forests in Queensland to the dense thicket of the karri there is a large variety and diversity in the types of forests and vegetation that one encounters in the Australian continent. The richness of the flora and fauna can be visualized by the waterfalls cascading amongst the lush rainforest understory, the smell of eucalyptus on the air after the rain – Australia’s forests are both unique and wonderful to experience.
There are about 125 million hectares of forest – 123 million of those being native – Australia has the seventh biggest forest area in the world, making up three percent of the Earth’s forests.
Which makes it one of the largest contributors of nature in terms of its rich natural ecosystem. Australia’s forests are categorized into eight types: acacia, eucalypt, Callitris, mangrove, casuarina, melaleuca, rainforest, and ‘other native forest’. All of which are filled with mesmerising beauty.
Fig: 2 - Paths or trails are often built in dense forest areas so that people can explore the areas in a natural manner. The trail is built in a way that it has minimal impact on its surroundings.
There is so much for a person to experience and visit that one cannot actually cover or even see in the Australian continents. There are various different forests and they offer various different diversities. Including the type of vacation to the major contribution in the variety of animal kingdoms.
There is a large and rich heritage of nature available in Australia. Which is always awaited to be experienced by the tourists. They cater to a large number of people who are visiting to experience the abundance, making it one of the rising trends in the tourist sector.
Tourist amenities like lodges, hotels, resorts, and other spaces are available in natural spots in Australia; but the increase in tourist influx and the need to bring them a little closer to nature in our busy lives is the urgency.
How can this be achieved through architecture?
Fig: 3- Observatory tower in Denmark (Credits-EFFEKT)
Experiencing nature firsthand not from afar requires a space that will provide the tourist with an experience through nature.
A structure that provides an experience to the people where they can sit and absorb the views and the environment around them.
Brief: The aim of this challenge is to create a nature observatory tower that will provide the tourists with a wide and close view of the forests. Where they are not affecting the forest but are able to experience it through a level where they dream to be in.
The tower is to provide scope for the tourists to observe the forest from different levels in order to experience it in a better manner, this place should also offer them a place to sit and relax while still being amidst the forest.
Interactive - Understand the needs of the tourists and the kinds of spaces that they might need on the tower. Which can aid their experience and make them feel more in touch with the forest.
Harmony - Explore a way to design the tower as a part of the forest rather than being a singular entity. Include the rich context and material availability while creating it.
Sustainable - Reduce the negative impact of design on the environment, by improving building performance, reducing waste, and ensuring comfort for occupants.
Context - The design must respond to the (existing) site conditions. The wider socio-cultural, economic and environmental settings are to be considered in the design approach.
The following objectives can be a point of beginning to conceive this design. Participants can assume their contexts and user group on the basis of their concepts and designs.
Site Area: 2589 sqm
Height limit: 6 metres
FAR (Floor Area Ratio): 0.5
Ground Coverage: 20%
Coordinates: 16°14'39.8"S 145°17'53.3"E
Australia, the smallest continent and one of the largest countries on Earth, lying between the Pacific and Indian oceans in the Southern Hemisphere. The most striking characteristics of the vast country are its global isolation, its low relief, and the aridity of much of its surface.
The site is in the Daintree forest of Australia. It is a tropical rainforest that grows to the edge of the sea. It consists of an important bird area and is designated as a World Heritage Site due to the amount of plant and animal species that have grown and evolved here. Surrounded by a dense patch of trees, the site is located near the forest trail. The path is the usual way by which people experience the forest area. Connected through this singular trail road, the site provides a vast variety of vistas.
A batch capacity of 50 tourists is to be considered at any given time in the day.
- Observation deck
- Vertical elements - stairs ramp
- Sitting area
- Viewing gallery
Participants can add other ancillary spaces according to their concepts.