Curved buildings elicit positive emotions at Camp Adventure Park

Nestled in the south of Copenhagen, overlooking the Gisselfeld Klosters Stove Forest, resides a spiralling treetop construction which immerses its visitors in the surrounding Danish landscape. Camp Adventure Park designed by EFEKT Architects, fully engulfs visitors in the forest’s lush green canopy. The camp comprises of a 600 metre-long walkway which is connected to the 45-metre tall observation tower, and a continuous ramp allows the attraction to be accessible for all. The route through the Park is divided into two paths: the ‘lower route’ overlooks the younger trees, while the ‘high route’ surrounds the oldest parts of the forest.

Throughout history, architects have considered contoured, curved forms as key features in designing buildings; softer forms are thought of as more pleasant, whereas rectangular, geometric structures are often considered more 'serious'. The curved structure of the Camp Adventure Park not only gives the best view of the forest canopy, which benefits visitors’ well-being (as access to natural spaces reduces stress and rumination), but research illustrates that when people are asked to choose whether they prefer an object which is linear or one which is curved, more people choose the curved object. This not only goes for buildings but also in other design disciplines, such as graphic design and font design, for example.

Humanity’s preference for rounded architecture is also subconscious —  a team at the neuroscience department at the University of Toronto found that people are more likely to think of a building as more beautiful if it is curved as rounded objects increase our mood by eliciting positive emotions. This is evident in increased brain activity in areas known for controlling emotions  — such as the anterior cingulate cortex and hippocampus — even when controlling symmetry and prototypicality. This finding is backed up by recent VR studies which suggest that people feel better in rooms with curved edges and rounded contours rather than geometric rooms. This could be due to the fact that rounded objects in the built environment reflect natural forms: the rounded leaves of plants, rolling hills, and cave-like structures which subconsciously remind us of safety and comfort. 

With this research in mind, as visitors travel up Camp Adventure Park amidst the shrubbery-filled landscape, their well-being and experience is enhanced by the use of timber and curved architecture which subconsciously promotes positive emotions. To view more about the Park visit EFEKT Architects’ website.

By Anna Marks.

All image credits: EFFEKT Architects

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