Up periscope: Finland's grounded observation tower

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The Periscope Tower located by a man-made lake near Seinäjoki, Finland(Credit: Anssi Lassila)

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As its name suggests, OOPEAA's Periscope Tower serves as an oversized periscope thanks to a pair of carefully-placed mirrors integrated into its core. No mere gimmick, the prefabricated observation tower ensures visitors can take in a raised view from ground level.

Located next to a man-made lake near Seinäjoki, Finland, the Periscope Tower is constructed from wood and features a CLT (cross-laminated timber) core, which supports a circling staircase leading to the top.

Anyone unwilling or unable to climb the stairs can instead choose to remain at the tower's base and take in a reflected image of the view at the top, created by two large mirrors. Unfortunately, the mirrors aren't pictured in the supplied images, though you can tell what's happening from the architectural drawings.

Of course, the ideal situation would be to allow wheelchair users to take an elevator to the top and check out the view in person. Still, for a modest rural project, it's an elegant way of balancing budget and accessibility concerns.

The tower is part of a larger landscaping project to make the area into an accessible recreation spot and opened to the public last Friday.

Source: OOPEAA via Arch Daily

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