Excerpt: Kralicak Lookout Tower is a pavilion designed by the architectural firm HAMR Hut Architektury Martin Rajnis. While creating, we were searching for economical, rational solutions that would be an answer to the assignment. We try to base the idea on the location—stone/wood. The assignment has been fulfilled, a year-round accessible, 35-meter-tall lookout tower situated at the top station of the chair lift – the centre of the resort.
[Text as submitted by Architect] The lookout tower results from several years of collaboration with the local ski resort Kraličák. It is situated at the highest point between Hynčice and Stříbrnice on the hilltop Štvanice 866 m.a.s.l. The supposed centre of the resort is on the hill in the forest amongst ski slopes. Around it is a beautiful dramatic vast landscape. The old town, a view of the entire Jeseníky Mountains, on the other side, the heavily wooded hillside of Králický Sněžník, where the Morava River springs from.
The assignment has been fulfilled, a year-round accessible, 35-meter-tall lookout tower situated at the top station of the chair lift – the centre of the resort.
The tower stands here as a confident, slim, round obelisk. A centre-point. A simple structural diagram, a slim, 35m tall vertical secured by cables. While designing, we were searching for economical, rational solutions that would be an answer to the assignment. We try to base the idea on the location—stone/wood.
As a construction material, we chose larch logs. It is used in the way it is pretty much present all around. The tree trunks are connected vertically, elevating the viewing platform, protected against wind by safety glass. In the centre of the tower hangs around a wooden staircase. Like a pendulum, it balances the gusts of wind. After 152 steps, you ascend above the treetops of the surrounding forest. Above you are only signal red lights and a wind vane.
Sizing wasn’t easy. Strong winds and snow/ice test this location. After 5m in height, the logs are connected by a steel joint to which a stiffening polygon/ triangle is attached. Also, in these points, the individual rods are fixated. Horizontal and torsional forces are caught by steel cables fixated into bases located 15m away from the tower.
Larch itself is well resistant to weather conditions, and further pressure impregnation is used. The wood isn’t in contact with soil moisture, and joints are designed to dry; therefore, we believe this tower should last 30 years.