Biotope, a three-strong Norwegian practice based in the Arctic town of Varanger, have designed bird hides since 2009. For them, architecture is "a tool to protect and promote birds, wildlife and nature" - an approach reflected in their carefully crafted, environmentally integrated fragments of the 'invisible': small shelters that must blend into and be absorbed by their surroundings. Their diligent work has seen Varanger become established as one of the best birding destinations in Northern Europe and their unique design solutions are now being sought across Scandinavia. As what is probably the "world's first and only architectural firm with a special expertise in birds and birding", Biotope are firmly established in a design niche. Tormod Amundsen (CEO), Elin Taranger and Alonza Garbett create practical structures capable of shielding hardy photographers from biting winds, whilst introducing a degree of Nordic design flair. Their skills also extend to designing birdwatching towers, developing nature trails, and building open-air amphitheaters. Their architecture, more than anything, is a manifestation of their passion for the natural world of flight.
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