Fire Lookout and Scenic Viewpoint, National Park Mljet, Croatia 2020

Montokuc is the most prominent peak on the westernmost branch of the most forested Adriatic island of Mljet. It has always served as an optimal vantage point for observing almost the entire territory of the National Park. From the top of Montokuc local firefighters on duty have been keeping watch for decades in order to alert residents and act immediately at the first sign of a fire. The former lookout cabin that they built themselves in the eighties has now been replaced by a prefabricated pavilion which, besides its primary function of protecting firefighters, also provides an additional attraction and a scenic viewpoint for visitors of Mljet.



The hybrid function of the pavilion produced its characteristic, crystalline form whose sheer wooden frame was structurally strengthened with diagonal stiffeners. Such dispersed load transfer was necessary due to extreme conditions and hurricane winds which are not uncommon at this exposed location.

 A diffracted triangular roof surface resting on external load-bearing pillars covers the central observation platform located above the closed part of the building. The covered walkway of the closed observatory has been turned into a terrace with a continuous cantilever bench intended for all users of the pavilion. With this building, Mljet National Park has shown how a simple, infrastructural facility, intended primarily for Park employees, can also serve as an environmentally friendly local attraction.



The prefabricated wooden structure was chosen not only because of the favourable technical and aesthetic characteristics of solid wood and the sustainability of the construction, but also in order to enable a fast assembly and transport by helicopter to the otherwise inaccessible hilltop.