Staged Landscapes: New Microstructures in Norway
Client: Statens Vegvesen, Oslo (NO)
Architecture: K A P / Kontor for Arkitektur og Plan, Stavanger; Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk, Oslo
Location: Ostasteidn rest area on the Ryfylke route (NO); Vøringsfossen waterfall on the Hardangervidda route (NO) Client: Statens Vegvesen, Oslo (NO)
Lighting and Space
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Picnic areas and overlooks have been established along particularly beautiful, often secluded stretches of road, inviting tourists to discover the varied landscape. From the very beginning, the Scenic Routes have upheld high aesthetic standards. Design competitions provide local architects with opportunities to realise unique concepts.
The young architects from KAP, for example, demonstrated their skills at the Ostasteidn rest area northwest of Stavanger, which opened in June. Inspired by the landscape paintings of the Norwegian painter Lars Hertervig, they aimed for a near-natural design. At the heart of the complex is a massive boulder, for which the rest area is named. Situated around it are a picnic area, a viewing platform and a lavatory building, as a kind of sculptural pendant to the boulder. Natural vegetation and modern building materials enter into a surprising synthesis at the rest area.
Architect Carl-Viggo Hølmebakk encountered a completely different situation at Vøringsfossen, one of the most visited waterfalls in Norway. Located about 150 km west of Bergen, the site already had a number of scenic overlooks, but over the course of time they had begun to show increasing signs of wear and were inadequately secured. Since this May, a clearly designed path has been leading visitors from the newly constructed car park to several viewing platforms. Some of them protrude adventurously over the precipice, offering spectacular views from various angles of the waterfall, which plunges 183 metres into the depths. The Scenic Routes collection is still far from complete. By 2023, no less than 46 construction projects are to be completed, with more due to be finished in 2029. Lovers of nature and architecture alike can look forward to discovering even more architectural highlights embedded in Norway’s fascinating landscape.