Wednesday 29 August 2012

Warsaw Swift Tower

These pictures are of a model of one of the winning entries in a competition to design a swift tower to be built in Warsaw, Poland.

Contributed by Rafal Pieszko, Menthol Architects

click on images to enlarge
One of the biggest problems for swifts in Poland is the loss of nesting sites. Modern construction is devoid of spaces where the birds can nest. Old buildings are renovated in a way that slots and holes where the birds nest are blocked. 

Unfortunately, the presence of birds in buildings during renovation causes intense conflicts between bird lovers and investors. However, people are beginning to realize that their presence is beneficial because they eat huge quantities of insects which are oppressive to humans. 

One of the best ways to protect these birds is to create safe nesting sites. Construction of small architectural forms would provide safe accommodation for the birds in a city environment. 

The dynamic silhouette of the swift during flight was the inspiration for the project. Long, narrow, pointed wings during flight and a slightly forked tail were captured in the proposed design, both in the front and side elevations. The form of the tower, reflecting the swift in flight can be easily recognised, and thus it promotes action to protect it.

The proposed location for the tower is in the park near the Vistula river in Warsaw. The tower is 7.82m height and has 90 nest boxes. The solar photovoltaic panels provide power for playing attraction calls, as well as 4 LED strip lights which will be lit at night time. This way the structure will function as a year round sculpture and it will attract more attention from people who will be aware of what is being done for swifts in Warsaw. 

We will reuse the ground from digging the foundations to form small landscape shapes covered with grass, as shown in the model.

For more details, see Menthol Architects

m e n t h o l   a r c h i t e c t s  -  natural  architecture  laboratory

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