Designed by architects Rhys Cannon and Matthew Springett, the seaside viewing structure on the British coastline delivers a full sensory experience.
Britain’s varied coastline is the ultimate border, a line often literally drawn in sand, at once beautiful and harsh. Lincolnshire’s North Sea strand is an unbroken 80 kilometres of sand dunes fronting salt marshes, lagoons and wet grasslands that support major bird migrations. And boy, does the wind blow. So much so, these coastal waters host one of the world’s largest offshore wind farms.
The Wind Tower, by London architects Rhys Cannon and Matthew Springett, responds to this extreme environment as part of Structures on the Edge, a publicly funded project that has commissioned several seaside installations, including a salt lick observation deck and a whimsical cloud-watching platform. Signalling the idea of being on the edge, the angular sky-blue tower juts upward from a berm that protects the low-lying land from the invasive sea.
On approach, a water view is deliberately denied. But as a visitor steps inside, the added weight tilts the yellow interior chamber forward to align the inner and outer viewing slots. Revealed is a focused seascape strip of water, beach, and windmills sprouting from the brine. The shift gently pulls the viewer forward, echoing the sensation of leaning into the wind as a child, with the prevailing gale rushing in to envelop one’s face and ears. Additionally, the movement of the inner pod creates a resonant gong sound, amplified by the shape of the tower and suggesting the clang of metal buoys.
Catherine the Great once observed, “A great wind is blowing, and that gives you either imagination or a headache.” The Wind Tower resolutely leans to the former.