Denmark: Forest Helix

Denmark: Forest Helix

A snaking forest boardwalk at Zealand Island’s Camp Adventure leads to a twisting ramp, built from steel and Danish oak. But what a ramp!  Here’s how to construct an arboreal dreamscape, just like the one transforming people’s experience of a forest in central Denmark…

First, to produce your forest structure, imagine taking a conventional cylinder, with an archimedean spiral path curving around its outer edge. Then stretch the dimensions of the tower’s base and top to enhance stability at the bottom and improve the view from the 45 metre summit.

The slim waist produced by the hyperbolic curvature will allow the forest to grow through the structure’s centre and snuggle up closely at the sides, giving stunning views of both trunks and crowns as people walk up the path.

Camp Adventure’s stylish new forest observation tower overlooks the rolling hills, lakes, wetlands, meadows and streams of Gisselfeld Klosters Forest, about 50 kilometres south of Copenhagen. Its builders hope that visitors will be tempted back again and again to see the changing colours brought about by the passage of the seasons and to relive their time amongst the trees.

The tower’s spiral walkway has no steps, meaning that the unusual perspectives of the tree canopy and surrounding countryside are accessible to everyone. The views produced as people ascend the 12 full turns of the 640 metre-long helix path provide a thoroughly engaging and immersive experience and there are awe inspiring panoramas at the top.

Designed by EFFEKT, with engineering provided by professional services firm ARUP, the tower required careful planning and skilled use of advanced geometric modelling technology. Close collaboration between the partners allowed evaluation of different potential design solutions, while closely monitoring potential budget impact.

Engineers and architects focused on optimising the use of corten steel, and this was successfully executed by means of a digitally-driven process that helped determine the optimal height of 45 metres. The chosen shape owes part of its character to the straight structural steel members, which were rotated to create an efficient yet visually striking structure.

The tower’s geometry is also governed by the ramp inclination requirements so that the viewing platform can be accessed by all visitors. The use of footfall modelling software helped ensure visitor comfort for such a complex walkway.

The spiral tower walkway is the newest feature at Camp Adventure, which also includes northern Europe’s longest zipline and courses for all ages set high amongst protected trees.

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