Nature Observatory of Amazonia

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NOA - 1226
TU Delft Architecture / nl Netherlands
1 members
Laurent Rosset

I AMazon inverts the relationship between the observer and the object observed. A transparent volume placed next to the Abuna river invites people to make them experience and learn about the Amazonian rainforest. As a part of the Amazon Basin, this river forms part of the border between northern Bolivia and north-western Brazil. It is easily reachable from the near BR-364.
People leave the boat and start to walk through a wooden pedestrian path 5 meters away from the ground. After 20 meters they face a 30 meters glass wall. This building has a straight, 100m length, starting from the water and continuing in the forest.

We are used to observe objects behind in a glass box and what the Nature Observatory of Amazonia does is exactly the opposite. It places the observer in an enclosed space between two transparent surfaces where it can learn and watch the nature all around him/her. Visitors are protected by the NOA and they have the feeling that they are observed by the forest. By walking through the observatory people can experience all the different vegetation that this unique place offers. The staircases, which makes the route possible are linked to the wooden structure on the façade and connect all the layers creating a sort of vertical maze.

Starting from the lowest level at -1.5 meters he can watch closely the river and the forest floor. Climbing staircases he can then observe the shrub layer (from 0m to 5m from the ground).
The visitors can then reach the under store level (5m-17m). The different layers allow people to see every kind of vegetation from different height. At 25m the trees starts to form a green roof over the forest below. This roof is like an umbrella or canopy. The canopy is the busiest part of the rainforest. The leaves, flowers and fruit that grow there provide food for monkeys, birds, insects and other animals. Visitors during this walk learn, through interactive panels projected on the glass walls, about the life of the rainforest and in the end the risks which the deforestation is creating. The upper level is an open terrace 30m high from the ground. Here people can enjoy the panorama surrounded by the emergent layer if the rainforest. The location of the NOA is close to a deforestation site because we want that people also see consequences of this ecological catastrophe.

Over the terrace a ‘v’ shaped roof is composed by PV panels to compensate the energy use. The Water is collected and forced to pass through tubes in the structure where they cause for the movement of little whirles creating even more energy. Some of the glasses in the façade have opened stripes to allow air to circulate inside the NOA.

In this way I AMazon allows people to observe and learn about the rainforest while they are observed by it.

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