Amazon Science Centre

British architects Marks Barfield have designed a research centre for the Amazon Jungle with a bulging bamboo observation tower and over six miles of treetop bridges.

The centre would allow both researchers and tourists to survey the rainforest canopy from above.

Local bamboo would be used to construct the tower, which is designed as a series of off-centre circular decks that are linked by a spiralling central staircase. Single-storey bamboo pavilions on the forest floor would house computer workstations.

This isn’t the first treetop walkway the architects have designed – see their elevated walkway in London’s Kew Gardens here.

Here’s a description of the project from Marks Barfield Architects:

A pioneering science centre in the heart of the Amazon with more than six miles of walkways and an observation tower above the rainforest canopy is being planned by the Amazon Charitable Trust, a British charity.

The $10m (£6.4m) project in Roraima, a remote province of northeast Brazil, is being designed by Marks Barfield Architects who created the London Eye and designed the treetop walkway in the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew.

The centre, in the village of Xixuau, will bring together scientists from the Brazilian Amazon Research Institute and the Royal Botanic Gardens, universities and other organisations, and is also intended to provide jobs for Brazilian tribes and attract eco-tourists.

The site is intended to appeal equally to serious research scientists and to visitors. The walkway, high above the jungle floor, will be used by researchers to study the canopy and by tourists to experience spectacular views.

Robert Pasley-Tyler, managing partner of the Amazon Charitable Trust, said: “This will be the first scientific research centre to be built in the jungle proper. It will employ the local river tribe, giving them a way of making a living without destroying the forest, and also boost awareness around the world.”

David Marks, of Marks Barfield Architects, said that the design and construction of the centre would pose extraordinary challenges because of the delicate ecosystem and its remote location. “You have to be very careful about what you bring in to avoid damaging the eco-system. Because it is so remote it also has to be self-sufficient.” he said.

Marks added that much of the centre could be constructed from bamboo grown on the site. The centre would take two years to construct. The Amazon Charitable Trust is waiting to discover if funding for the centre will be granted by the Amazon Fund, which is backed by donations from Norway. Members of the Amazon Charitable Trust’s board include Bianca Jagger and John Hemming.

View the article here.

Read more about the Amazon Charitable Trust: