The Lookout Tower, Forsinard

The new Lookout Tower sits on the edge of a bog pool system forming part of the Dubh Lochan Trail in the Flows National Nature Reserve. The structure provides visitors with elevated views over the bog pools (or Lochans) which can form extensive systems and create impressive patterns when viewed from above. It has also provided a popular destination for stargazing.

To minimize disruption the structure is elevated above the bog level with a ballasted steel ground floor chasse, supported on a series of steel columns. Sacrificial steel walled pile casings were driven in to the bog approximately four meters to bedrock. These provide a sleeve for the pre-fabricated founding columns. Stiff connections between the ground floor deck and the founding columns provide lateral stability.

The superstructure consists of slender steel box sections with stiff connections creating a sway frame. Timber floor joists and wall studs are provided between the steel elements and are fixed to specially fabricated tabs. The structure is clad externally in Scottish Larch.

The superstructure frame was transported to site partially constructed. It was lifted from the main road to the site by helicopter to reduce the imposed construction traffic load on the bog.