Many times we use the term ecological for advertising purposes, but this is not the case with this ramp/observatory, whose roots lie in caring for the environment.
I have investigated a little, not much, in the networks, in search of the longest adapted ramp in the world. And nothing. The only thing that the most popular search engines show are technical determinations of how to make a ramp, of the dimensions regulated by the regulations of the country in question and, of course, the best and most spectacular ramps for skateboarding, snowboarding, or for launching vehicles.
In short, I have not been able to determine if the ramp that we bring you this week is, or not, unique in terms of its dimensions, although we are sure that it is in terms of its characteristics. In the end, an architectural element is not only unique for having something that the rest lacks, it is for taking advantage of what has been invented to do something new. From this point of view, the Forest Tower in Denmark is quite a unique construction.
The longest ramp in Europe is at the Forest Tower
The Forest Tower is an attraction of the Camp Adventure Park, which is located in the city of Haslev. As its name indicates, it is a forest tower, that is, a place for observing the forest. Although this has a special feature and that is that from the top you can distinguish the city of Copenhagen in the distance, located just 47 minutes away by car.
One of the singularities of this tower is its location. It is located in the center of the forest, so, once you have paid the 20 euros that the entrance costs, you will have to walk 900 meters on a wooden path, to the base of the tower. Everything revolves around nature, since it is the determining factor. This «little» walk will imbue us with the environment that we are going to observe, and will mislead us from the wonder that we will have to visualize when we reach our destination.
The ramp is in the middle of a forest
Walking among the trees, the impact of seeing a large tower from below must be a magical moment. And it is that suddenly you find a 45-meter construction that stands out from the surrounding grove. The tower is cylindrical in shape, although the walls are convex, and it contains a spiral ramp of 600 meters of development, which is equivalent to a slope of less than 8%. This feature makes it accessible to anyone.
The convex walls have a trick, they help to give the adventurer a better experience, since as you go up it offers different views of the forest and of the structure itself. In addition, the cup shape at the top and bottom increases the stability of the tower. When you reach the top, after 12 spiral turns, the viewpoint awaits you, a circular walkway with 360-degree views. You have at your feet the protected forest of Gisselfeld Klosters Skove and not inconsiderable views for tourists and locals.
The tower and its ramp are a tourist attraction
Construction ended in 2019, and it opened its doors in March of that year, receiving 2,500 people on the first day. Its design dates from 2017 and is the work of a Copenhagen-based architecture studio EFFEKT. He knew how to accompany himself on the trip from a company known in The Luxonomist, the engineering company Arup. They enlighten us by explaining that the shape of the tower is called a hyperboloid.
This form has been executed thanks to huge tubular pillars in the shape of a net that, in an inclined way, are embedded in concrete bases distributed in a circular way. Upon reaching the top, they form another circle, but the inclination that the long steel tubes have cut makes the central part take the shape of a smaller circumference than the base and the top.
The footbridge has been executed in oak and corten steel
As a particularly ecological genius and wink, the pillars have been made of corten steel for its durability, it does not rust because it is already rusty, and its chromaticity, its earthy texture identifies it with natural elements. Another wink is that the entire walkway is made with oak wood from areas close to the place, which means a lower contribution of CO2 to the atmosphere.
The company responsible for the execution of the metal framework is called Levi Jensen. To execute it, they had to incorporate an interior structure from which to act, this was removed with the commissioning of the construction. The observation deck sits at 135 meters above sea level, making it the highest point in Zealand, according to the architects.
The ramp has already received two important awards, the AZ Awards 2020 and the ICONIC award for landscape architecture, but, as always, the awards are late recognitions, so don’t pay attention to them, better visit the tower, take note of its hits and misses, and continue with our day to day aware that we have enjoyed something unique and exceptional. And let’s see if they read us from the Guinness Book of Records and are encouraged to include the «longest adapted ramp in the world» on their list.
*Photos courtesy of EFFEKT.