Tåkern Visitor Centre Building, Glänås Architecture, Östergötland Sweden

Tåkern Visitor Centre, Sweden : Glänås Building

New building in Glänås, Östergötland, Sweden – design by Wingårdh Arkitektkontor

10 Aug 2012

Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre

Location: Östergötland, eastern Sweden

Architect: Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB

Swedish Rural Building

Tåkern Visitor Centre, Glänås Building
photograph : Åke E:son Lindman


Location: Lake Tåkern, Sweden

Main building: 680 sqm

All the way out where the forest ends and the reeds begin, a visitor center hovers low on piles set carefully into the water’s edge. The building is clad in thatch, camouflaged like a birdwatcher’s blind, hiding its contents from the natural world that surrounds it. This is quiet architecture, using traditional local materials to break new ground with its crystalline geometry. Steep roofs transition seamlessly into walls. The steep pitch gives them longevity. The ridge, where a thatched roof is most vulnerable, is transformed into a glazed skylight.

Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre
photographs : Åke E:son Lindman

The visitor center is the main feature of a series of measures that celebrate Tåkern’s qualities. The path to the building passes a number of landscape exhibits that reveal, for example, changes in the environment. A short distance away stands a bird-watching tower, designed as a sibling to the visitor station. The whole scheme is interconnected by boardwalks that make the terrain accessible for all. A 140 meter long ramp makes it possible to reach the five meter level by wheels.

Among the many exhibits is an aquarium that joins the interior of the visitor center with the pond that has been advantageously exposed next to the building. The center has a closed, sheltering form, resulting in minimal energy consumption. A few strategically placed generous openings connect the building with its surroundings.

The bird-watching tower was inaugurated in 2009. The opening was overlooked by shovelers, gadwalls, teals, pintails and by an old white-tailed eagle. Next year they will most likely return for a preview of the visitor centre.

Gert Wingårdh
Jonas Edblad.

Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre
photographs : Tord-Rickard Söderström

Lake Tåkern Visitor Centre – Building Information

Title: Tåkern visitor centre
Address: Glänås, Sweden
Architect: Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB trough Gert Wingårdh, Jonas Edblad
Team: Ingrid Gunnarsson, Aron Davidsson, Jannika Wirstad and Peter Öhman
Plan: Ödeshög municipality
Client: County of Östergötland
Contract form: General contractor
Contractor: Bird watching tower: Håkan Ström AB ; Buildings: Skanska Östergötland
Gross area: circa 750 sqm
Year of construction: Bird watching tower: 2008-09 ; Buildings: 2010-12
Photographs: Åke E:son Lindman and Tord-Rickard Söderström

Tåkern Visitor Centre images / information from Wingårdh Arkitektkontor AB

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Tåkern Visitor Centre