A Bird’s-Eye View of Wadden Sea National Park: Marsk Tower by BIG
Client: MARSK Camp
Architecture: BIG - Bjarke Ingels Group
Structural engineering: AFRY
Location: Skærbæk (DK)
The Danish town of Skærbæk, located in southern Jutland, has been enriched with a further attraction in the form of the Marsk Tower. On behalf of the local tourism organization, renowned creative group BIG have created a 25-m observation tower, which can be seen for miles around, in the middle of Denmark’s Wadden Sea National Park. On the grounds of the former Hjemsted open-air museum, this local highlight will enable visitors from around the world to gain a new perspective of the breadth of this unique marshy landscape and UNESCO World Heritage site.
In seven turns, two steel stairways form a double helix that winds around its own axis as it climbs upwards. The result, naturally, is a unidirectional ascent and descent. Towards the top, the tower enlarges into a platform measuring 110 m2. Contrary to all expectations in terms of statics, the radius of each coil in the staircase made of offset steel plates becomes greater from bottom to top, while the diameter of the tower increases from 6.20 m at its base to 12.70 m on the observation platform. The Marsk Tower’s construction and material of weatherproof structural steel, whose colour scheme is based on shades found in nature, allow it to fit rather harmoniously into the surrounding hues of the sand and earth despite its size. In favourable conditions, the view from the top extends far over the Wadden Sea to the North Sea islands of Rømø and Sylt. Those who have climbed the 146 steps or taken the lift to the platform can enjoy an unusually open panoramic view of the endless distance over the otherwise completely flat terrain “at whose end heaven and earth are joined”.