I went back to visit the Arboretum for a third time in order to explore my chosen location further.
I focused on two areas of interest to me, looking at views of them and from them. I also explored the area around the park too, walking around it's circumference.
The Chosen Location
The image opposite shows the location which I have chosen for my design. My current plan is to have the tower sit amongst the cluster of trees on the right hand side, allowing it wrap amongst them and interact with them all at different heights.
It sits right next to the central pathway which runs through the Arboretum, it is also located just in front of the tunnel which runs under the road to the other side. This tunnel is an entrance/ exit to the park, therefore it both generates and receives a good amount of pedestrian flow.
Benefits Of The Chosen Location
The wind direction heads directly for the location. It was a windy day but despite the open space in front of the location, there not much more than a breeze hitting me. The trees in the distance were likely blocking the majority of the wind. This is good, I am interested in encouraging interaction with nature and allowing a breeze to hit the tower would be a good part of this, especially as the wind was not strong enough to be uncomfortable. It is worth noting though that the higher up the tower, the windier it is likely to be. Therefore it may be worth considering a form of barrier against the wind at higher levels.
Another advantage of the location is that the Sun hits it at almost all times of the day, throughout the year. I deem this a good thing, but due to this it will be worth considering forms of shielding again the sun to allow people some shade. Overhangs may be able to aid help with this, as well as aiding with rain protection too. The location is high up enough (at ground level it is approximately 69m above sea level) that the Sun is rarely blocked by anything around. When it is blocked, it is only a partial obstruction.
This ground height, along with an estimated height of 20.5m for the tallest tree in the location, places the height of the observation tower at around 89.5m above sea level.
There are residential areas behind the location which could be a potential concern, but these are quite easily addressed. It is worth baring in mind that these houses are present for two main reasons. Firstly, it is important that the observation tower doesn't look into their homes and/ or gardens, thereby compromising the privacy of the occupants. Secondly, the tower should keep any obstruction to the views of the park and city to a minimum, so that the residents can continue to have the same view as before where possible. On the other hand, I would like the tower to be noticeable from the outside of the park too, in order to draw people in. Perhaps some form of barrier may be necessary. This will be a delicate balance, the design should be noticeable but unobtrusive.
Reasons For Rejecting The Alternative Location
The other location which I had in mind was towards the front of the park, by the aviary. My initial reason for choosing location as a possibility was because of the tall trees which provided a good height for an observation tower to be based around. It is also close to a primary entrance for the park and has the added bonus of being right next to the aviary and pond, which are popular areas of the park. As such, there would be a good amount of pedestrian flow in the area. However, there are a few problems with this site, and many areas in which the chosen location betters it.
Finally, I considered one of my main aims, to draw people into the park to use the tower and engage with nature. If I were to place my tower amongst these trees, I do not feel like it would be as obvious to people. Whereas I am to looking to design something which stands out with disrespect to the park, I would like it to be noticeable. Perhaps it is because of the existing buildings and the shadows of the trees, but I do not feel that the tower would be noticeable to people. Even more so, I do not feel like many people would feel encouraged to enter the tower.
Perhaps this location is better suited to the security brief as opposed to the connection brief.