Architecture September 2, 2010 By Nika Knight

towerbyriver page2 Tower on the River Mur     The tower also plays with our sense of solitude when visiting remote, rural locations such as this one. Visitors who ascend the tower’s 168 steps may feel alone as they take each sharp turn until reaching the structure’s peek (at twenty-seven meters), where they inevitably meet fellow climbers passing by as they descend along the continued path. The tower’s doubled-up, interwoven spiral staircase has an unexpected historical forerunner: Frederick of Hapsburg, the 15th century’s Duke of Austria, was known for his architectural experimentation, and the brilliant design of his castle in Graz has long been a pilgrimage site for architects. Klaus Loenhart was one such pilgrim, and it was the three-dimensional experience created by the castle’s design that inspired him and colleague Christoph Mayr to attempt to bring a similar visitor-experience to the quiet rural landscape of the Austria-Slovenia border.

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