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OBA 2012 ǀ BME

Arch Medium Student Competition - Northern Lights Observatory

Living in nature, observing in private, looking collectively, meditating conservatively, suggesting serenity and dining with a view to Rovaniemi and the northern lights are just a portion of the experiences offered by this naturally placed, experientially folded, topographically situated piece of architecture, with the Aurora Borealis in its heart, veins and capillaries.

The setting imposed an atypical set of considerations to be explored. The topography, first of all, inspires a completely different way of “grounding” the project. The relationship to the ground is dictated by the elevation at which a path or building is placed, suggesting below an often cantilevering space, an experience as calm as sitting on a bench – or the ground – to enjoy nature.

Choosing the location was a result of studying the nature of the slope, which resulted in the selection of a site with a vast variation in inclination, on ideal view of the auroras and existing paths cutting through it. These forest paths present another factor, alongside topography, in the placement of the project, and being used as part of it.

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