Marks Barfield’s proposed observation tower in the Amazon

Proposed observation tower

Marks Barfield Architects have designed a science centre, observation tower and walkways for a location in the Amazon rain forest, 400km north of Manaus, Brazil. The scheme is being planned by the Amazon Charitable Trust in partnership with Xixuau Co-operative. The centre is intended as a meeting point where scientists from the Brazilian Amazon Research Institute, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew and various universities will gather to discuss the impact  of biodiversity and forests on climate change and conduct field research.

Walkway through the trees

Walkways, supported by pylons and suspended from trees, will be built both on the ground and elevated to permit views from different heights. The walkways will allow researchers and visitors to study tree canopies.

The site is extremely remote and environmentally sensitive, with high humidity and risk of flooding. The architects approach to the selection and transport of materials is a critical aspect of the project.

Materials proposed for the centre and observation tower include:

  • rope
  • steel cable
  • bamboo
  • local wood
  • woven palm mat lathing
  • recycled rubber (small quantities)
  • concrete (small quantities).

Science centre with laboratory spaces for field research

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