Resembling an oversized egg in a nest, the Tij (or Tide) is a bird observatory in the Netherlands designed by Dutch firm RAU Architects. The novel building is made from sustainably-sourced wood and can be disassembled and moved with relative ease if required.
The Tij bird observatory is one of the icons of the Haringvliet Dream Fund project, in which six nature organizations have been working since 2015 with the support of the National Postcode Lottery on an ambitious nature recovery plan and recreational impulse for the Haringvliet.
From the Bird Observatory you have a fantastic view of the special delta nature of the Haringvliet and its bird life. Among other things, a colony of thousands of large terns nest on the islands off the coast of Scheelhoek that the bird observatory overlooks.
RAU Architecten, in collaboration with Ro & Ad Architecten, designed the giant wooden construction. Thanks to the use of sustainable and circular materials and the unique shape, the fully removable structure offers a unique experience for every nature enthusiast. The observatory, consisting of reeds, chestnut poles and sand, is parametrically designed to achieve a good relationship between shape, construction, size and viewing holes.
Local reeds from the Scheelhoek nature reserve have been used for covering. Used bulkheads were used to make a tunnel to the observatory. The bird observatory is constructed in such a way that everything can be taken apart without loss of value so that the ecosystem is minimally burdened.
Fred Wouters, Director of Bird Protection Netherlands: “Tij is a nod to the EI (the egg), as many people started calling it the bird observatory during construction. And that’s not surprising, because the design is based on the egg of the big tern. In addition, the name refers to the tide, the periodic change of the water level with ebb and flow, that which makes delta nature so unique.”
Images by Katja Effting, Merijn Koelink