Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Periscope Tower in Seinäjoki, FInland by OOPEAA
July 21st, 2016 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: OOPEAA
The Periscope Tower is a giant wooden periscope structure that serves as an observation tower and engages the viewer ina dialogue with the landscape. With the help of a large mirror the Periscope Tower makes it possible for everyone to enjoythe views of the surrounding landscape. One can either climb up the stairs to enjoy the view over the lake and into thesurrounding landscape from the viewing deck, or simply stay on the ground and get the view through the periscope mirror.Made entirely of wood, the building is composed of an inner core of cross laminated timber (CLT) and an external wooden frame that serves as a load bearing structure. The inner core made of CLT forms the frame for an extra large periscope with stairs circling around it. When taking the stairs up or down one can experience a rich range of different views framed by the various openings cut into the structure.
The tower is composed of three prefabricated elements with the roof forming a fourth element. The facades and the stairs are made of larch. The details and the security netting are of steel. The idea was to create a simple wooden structure of high quality in a way that supports learning and reflects a commitment to empowering and strengthening the local community.
The Periscope Tower is situated on the shore of a man-made lake that has been built on top of a hill in the vicinity of the center of the city of Seinäjoki. The man-made lake, Lake Kyrösjärvi, has been created in order to serve three main functions: to help keep the flooding in the plains of Ostrobothnia under control, to generate energy for the electric power plant serving the city of Seinäjoki, and to form an attractive site for a new residential area to be constructed on the shores ofthe lake. 120 000 square meters of new housing will be built there to provide homes for about 2000 people. The Periscope Tower is part of a larger landscape design project for reshaping the lakeshore, developed by OOPEAA for the Seinäjoki Housing Fair 2016.
With the Periscope Tower, the aim is to activate the dam around the man-made lake and to turn it into a recreational area serving the residents of the new neighborhood to be constructed there as well as others living in Seinäjoki and the region at large. It will be connected to a broader network of recreational paths designed to be accessible to everyone.
The Periscope Tower was commissioned by the City of Seinäjoki, realized in collaboration with SWECO Seinäjoki andconstructed by the students of SEDU, a local vocational school for building and construction skills. It is part of the areadeveloped for the annual Finnish Housing Fair to be held in Seinäjoki in 2016. The Periscope Tower will remain open to the public to enjoy also after the fair closes.
OOPEAA OFFICE FOR PERIPHERAL ARCHITECTURE
Anssi Lassila (b. Soini Finland, 1973) is the founder and director of OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture. His international breakthrough was the Kärsämäki Shingle Church in 2004. Lassila’s architecture displays his interest in combining a sculptural form with traditional materials and innovative techniques. For him, peripheral sensitivity
is a vital part of the creative process. OOPEAA draws inspiration from ‘in-between’ states – between urban and rural, traditional and contemporary, local and international. In its approach OOPEAA emphasizes the potential embedded in exploring new methods and techniques as a means of developing new solutions in building. Their work is characterized by a strong interest in the way materials behave and experimentation with innovative solutions. Their work is about venturing into borderlands and identifying new possibilities where tradition meets the new.
The office works on a wide range of projects on varying scales from churches and daycare centers, an art museum, office buildings, housing, private houses, town planning, and renovations and extensions to historically valuable landmarks. The office has been honored with significant awards and won several prizes in competitions both in Finland and abroad, including the Finlandia Prize for Architecture in 2015 and the Wood Architecture Award in 2015 as well as nominations for the shortlist for the Mies van der Rohe European Prize for Architecture in 2005 and in 2011.