Wild Reindeer Centre: the natural observatory by Snohetta

Digital 3D models and shipbuilding technology to create the wooden pavilion

by Malcolm Clark
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The Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion, designed by the architectural office Snøhetta has a wooden heart.

Made to commission by the Norwegian Wild Reindeer Foundation, the small volume houses an education centre and a natural observatory and is located in the vicinity of the National Park of Dovrefjell.

A rectangular steel frame contains the wooden pavilion, and a transparent glazed wall lines the observation area so that visitors can observe the flora and fauna of the Tverrfjellet mountain at an altitude of 1,200 metres, while being warmed by the fire in a suspended fireplace. The rippled timber core of this reindeer observation pavilion mirrors the curves of the surrounding Dovre Mountains”, explain the designers. Like for the walls, the pine wood has also been chosen for the seats.

“The building's design is based on the presence of a rigid external shell and an organic inner core. 3D models have been employed to design the architectural elements. The pine beams were built in the Norwegian shipyards of Hardangerfjord. The structure was then assembled in a traditional manner by using wooden pegs as fasteners. The exterior wall has been treated with pine tar while the interior wood has been oiled”, the project report indicates.

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    Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion 185

    Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion

    Dovre / Norway / 2011