Touring At a Height

Foliage Educational Trail, Süttő-Tardos

Architect: Péter Szabó
Text: Mária Tatai
Photos: Balázs Danyi
The „air” trail of the Gerecse Hills nestles into its environment, almost disappearing in the forest, and its regular circle-shape is only outlined on closer inspect. Around and among the trees, in the domain of nature a perfect geometrical component appears by means of engineering and industrial structures. Almost horizontal, the ring system with an inner diameter of 44 metres and an inclination of 9% is supported by 1-11 metre high steel pillars of 30-centimetre diametres that are slightly tilted, but perpendicular to the pavement. Each part of the struts is exposed: the pillars hold wrap-around beams with circle segments that in turn support the cup-like metal structure holding the trail itself which is made up of 816 pavement planks made of oak and a lattice of handrails. The stability of the avenue seemingly floating is provided by the straining wires that meet in the middle in a steel ring, whilst its sideway movements are dampened by poles. This trail actually gives us a lesson of statics too: it almost entirely screens the hidden interplay of physical forces, whilst showing how to build a light trail in the air which appears fairly light-weight in spite of the dimensions of its steel structure.

Architecture: Okka Építésziroda
Leading architect: Péter Szabó
Architects: Sándor Nemes, Renáta Orova, Márton Perge, Eszter Ürmös
Sstructure: Levente Mihucz, Gábor Kepe, Anna Nagy – MI.V. Mérnökiroda
Fire protection: József Hochrein
Main contractor: SZETESZ 2000 Építő Kft.