Observation Deck

Observation Deck

Katarína Trnovská

When the subject of interest for an architect and designer becomes that state of nature, it is often followed by a unique perception and embodiment of the country which leaves the viewer to quietly marvel.

In the context of developing tourism some countries adopted the cultivation of hiking trails as its national program for creative application such as Norway’s project National Tourist Routes. Eighteen touristic trips bejeweled with small architectural stops, scenic views, and info-stations have been attracting international attention since 2004, under the common name Detour. Each of the “stops” along the way is narrated by the particular scenery yet all the places along the trips are connected to each other through a core curriculum of Norwegian architecture which respects tradition, the application of local material resources and technology, environment friendly interactions, and the humble exploration of complication mountain or coastal terrain.

A peculiar category of wooden observation decks are paths which pass through the treetops. The first sightseeing stations were placed generally in densely forested terrains in the 90s of the 20th century, in countries known for their unexplored rainforests. A few years ago, these types of observation decks or stations became popular in sightseeing architecture of Europe. In Slovakia, there are about 70 well-known and publicly available observation decks whose architects remain unknown. The wooden observation tower of Unimo in the small village of Dúbravica stands out among the large group, with its design quality, versatility of use, and views. Among the larger architectural facilities present in Slovakia, is a new observation ramp/platform embedded in the forested slope of the mountain Hradová in Košice.