Nature Observatory of Amazonia

Previous Project 13 of 189 Next


NOA - 1094
HafenCity Universität Hamburg / de Germany
2 members
Elzbieta Luczak
Maral Iranpour

Project type:

The Nature Observatory of Amazonia is located at the western edge of Santarém (Brazil), a city which has over 200.000 inhabitants, on the bank of the Amazon river, next to the tributary river, the Tapajós. The building combines experiencing both, water and land of the Amazon River and Rainforest.
It is designed as a one-story construction, so that people, staying on the ground, can actually touch the nature, the giant tree roots, feel the freshness of the water and after all spread around the building exploring the terrain on their own further on. The observatory should enable a fluent transition from sightseeing into exploring through arousing visitors' interest and giving insight into the fascinating ecosystem.
The building is visually mostly closed from outside (except for the southern one, which is completely open to the river) and reminds a sparsely riddled bunker. This idea follows the museum-like approach, according to which full plain partitions constitute a frame and a background for a masterpiece, which in this case is the nature. One sees it through the rare openings and immediately spots that they pose a contrast to endless massive walls of edgy expressive architecture which seals off the observatory from the natural environment and does not blend with it at all. The role of the building is, in the first place to acquaint the visitor with the wild nature (the 'please-do-touch-the-exhibit-approach' is striven for) and to sharpen his eye for its beauty. The openings in the floor and ceiling let it crack into the observatory and give access to the natural layers, though being inside. Visitors contact the nature as it is captured and tamed inside and get encouraged to get to know it better, so they go outside to discover it. Thereby the building's mission is fulfilled.
All the openings are there to create a play and tension resulting from the contrast between dark, closed rooms and sudden invasion of light. One can find place to contemplate in the darkness as well as to get filled with awe in an awash with sun inner courtyard.
The geometry of the observatory marks out several ways, in which the sightseeing can take place: the walls converge, playing with perspective and forming funnels which flow one in the other making up narrow and broad rooms. They by turns hand themselves over the visitor prompting him to move in a way that he bounces off the walls. The concept of the building in form of a controlled labyrinth features a lively continuity, creating a set of surprising views and is conceptualized rather as a sculpture than an architecture.
The observatory follows the concept of sustainability: it is built from local materials, as well as it makes use of the huge amount of rain falling down, which is accumulated in deposits in the rainy season.

Download files

Syndicate content