Situated on the shore of a man-made lake in Seinäjoki, Finland, Periscope Tower is a wooden periscope structure of 35m² (377ft²) that serves as an observation tower. Commissioned by the City of Seinäjoki, the tower was designed by OOPEAA, realized in collaboration with SWECO Seinäjoki and constructed by the students of SEDU, a local vocational school for building and construction skills, in 2016.
With the help of a large mirror the Periscope Tower makes it possible for everyone to enjoy the views of the surrounding landscape. One can either climb up the stairs to enjoy the view over the lake and into the surrounding landscape from the viewing deck, or simply stay on the ground and get the view through the periscope mirror.
Made entirely of wood, the building is composed of an inner core of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and an external wooden frame that serves as a load bearing structure. The inner core made of CLT forms the frame for an extra large periscope with stairs circling around it. When taking the stairs up or down one can experience a rich range of different views framed by the various openings cut into the structure.
The tower is composed of three prefabricated elements with the roof forming a fourth element. The facades and the stairs are made of larch. The details and the security netting are of steel. The idea was to create a simple wooden structure of high quality in a way that supports learning and reflects a commitment to empowering and strengthening the local community.
Drawings and Models:
Photographs by Anssi Lassila
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