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Room With A View: Stunningly Rebuilt Hungarian Lookout Tower Up For International Architectural Award

Ferenc Sullivan 2016.03.16.

An exquisitely renovated lookout tower topping Hungary’s third-highest mountain is competing for a prestigious international architectural award just months after being opened to the public.

Designed by NARTARCHITECTS, the rebuilt observation tower on Galyatető, a peak 964 metres above sea level in the Mátra Hills, northern Hungary, is running for an Architizer A+ Award. The structure has already been chosen as the best work in the “Reconstruction” category and although the overall winner will be selected by a professional jury. online votes cast by the general public also count.

Located on a mountain range and connected to a well-trodden hiking route, the Lookout Tower at Galyatető features three shelters which offer hikers a unique – if rather spartan – place to rest their heads.

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The Lookout Tower at Galyatető originally rose to 17 m (55 ft) in height and was constructed from local stone in 1934. However, after being surpassed in height by the trees that surround it, it was decided to extend the tower upwards to ensure an uninterrupted 360-degree view from its roof. Nartarchitects added a reinforced concrete section containing three hiking shelters, bringing the total height of the tower to 30 m (98 ft).

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Visitors reach the three shelters via a mesh-enclosed steel staircase that also leads all the way up to the roof. The rooms are accessed by a circular hatch and measure 3.5 x 3.5 m (11.5 x 11.5 ft), sleeping up to six people.

There are no amenities inside the shelters, and the spartan interior is only broken up by some wooden pallets to place sleeping bags atop, a few coat hangers, and porthole windows. However, toilets and running water are available from a nearby tourist center.

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Despite their lack of amenities, Nartarchitects told Gizmag that the shelters have already proved popular with local hikers, even in sub-zero temperatures. Visitors are required to pay only a small fee of around approximately €7 (roughly US$7.70) per night to stay.

The prestigious international award was founded three years ago as a joint venture by architizer.com, Wall Street Journal Magazine and Webbys.

via szeretlekmagyarorszag.hu and gizmag.com
photo: gizmag.com