Camp Adventure, the 45 metre-high observation tower and nature-based activities site located in Gisselfeld Klosters Forest in Southern Zealand, Denmark, is making the forest accessible. Built by Copenhagen-based architecture firm EFFEKT, Camp Adventure offers the highest ropes course in Denmark and the most diverse range of nature activities, including zip-lines and tree-top climbing, in Scandinavia.
The crown jewel of the area is the observation tower, called Forest Tower, made of reddish-brown corten steel and oak sourced from the Bregentved and Gisselfeld estate forests. The tower is made in a hyperboloid form; the vertical steel pipes are actually rotated rather than bent, resulting in a natural curve. The tower is 135 metres high, making it the tallest point on Zealand. The view is incredible, with a clear view to the Øresund bridge connecting Denmark and Sweden (NB: one of Denmark’s favorite pastimes is telling people from which points they can see Sweden, so as you can imagine this tower is very exciting for the country at-large).
From design to construction of the tower took two years, with the actual erecting of the boardwalk and tower taking only six months; it first won the 2017 ICONIC Award in the “Visionary” category. The surface of the tower covers 1400 square metres, while the diameter goes from 28.4 meters at the top and bottom, then down to 14 metres in the centre. This shape is not only visually stunning and engaging, it also makes it possible to walk or wheel up easily and allows users to see a great deal more – both inside and outside – than they would do if the shape were cylindrical. The shape offers maximum stability, and the top observation deck is ideal for viewing the forest, almost making viewers feel like they’re floating in the tree tops.
Designed and prefabricated in a factory so the construction would be as respectful to as possible, then brought on site and erected in six months.
The construction process, as with the design process, was very much about placing the tower without harming the natural surroundings. “We had the entire structure produced and pre-fabricated in a factory,” explains Chief Operating Officer of EFFEKT, Mikkel Bøgh, “so that we could literally just put it down and build. This was done to be as respectful to the natural environment as possible, and of course also to make the process streamlined.
In addition to the tower, EFFEKT created an elevated boardwalk that is 900 metres long, also rendered in oak wood. “We elevated the path for two reasons,” says Mikkel. “The first was to give people the impression of walking through the forest in a way that felt integrated. The second was so that the boardwalk’s existence would have as little environmental impact as possible. “The best way to not mess with the soil and all the little critters on the ground is to have a walkway that doesn’t touch the ground,” says Mikkel.
The lower boardwalk is already built, and there is an upper boardwalk that has been planned and will be built soon. This part of the boardwalk will include more complicated structure aspects such as split paths that allow you to go higher, and a “take off” path that spirals upwards, but offers a lower view point than the tower. “We created this addition so that the project is always evolving and showing people new ways to experience the forest,” says Rikke.
Sustainable architecture is at the heart of Camp Adventure, and EKKEFT’s task was to build something large and functional that blended into the surroundings but also felt like a safe structure. “The idea is to increase the number of visitors by approximately 150,000 over the year, so doing that while also maintaining the forest was a very interesting problem for us,” Mikkel says.
Accessibility was also a key component of the project. “When we started making the boardwalk, we realized it was about creating place in the forest for people who may not necessarily come to the forest on their own. So we thought about groups of people who might want to use the space; the boardwalk is wheelchair accessible, and that is super important for making sure it is an inclusive area,” explains Mikkel.
For those who don’t necessarily spend a lot of time in nature, Camp Adventure is an ideal catalyst for enjoying the outdoors. “This is a very curated nature experience,” Mikkel concedes, “but that’s what makes it so special. It’s for everyone! We’re hoping that by encouraging people to enjoy the forest and trees in a way that they feel comfortable, perhaps the next week they’ll go out into nature in a different way. We want it to inspire people to interact with the natural world.”
4690 Haslev, Denmark
Tickets to the Forest Park are 125 DKK in advance and 150 DKK at the reception
Tickets to the Climbing Park are 300 DKK for the day for adults (15+), 200 DKK for ages 7 – 14, and 100 DKK for ages 3 – 6
Parking costs 50 DKK
Opening Hours for Forest Tower
31 March – 30 June: Every day 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
1st July – 11th August: Every day 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
12th August – 3rd November: Every day 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
4th November – 30th March: Closed
Opening Hours for Climbing Park
31 March – 30 June: Thurs – Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
1st July – 11th August: Every day 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
12th August – 3rd November: Thurs – Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
4th November – 30th March: Closed
Photography by Rasmus Hjortshoj.