Norway’s 18 tourist routes are known for their breathtaking scenery, but that’s not the only reason to make the pilgrimage. The Nordic country’s landscape is dotted with architectural gems, including a memorial for witches by Peter Zumthor and a rusty steel viewing platform by Reiulf Ramstad.
Reiulf Ramstad Architects installed a series of zig-zagging footpaths and cantilevered viewing platforms along a picturesque stretch of Norwegian mountains – a route known as Trollstigen or “troll’s ladder”.
This triangular viewing platform by Code Arkitektur serves as a pit stop for weary travellers hiking up the Gaular mountain on the country’s west coast. The concrete features skyward-pointing corners that offer alternating views of the area’s abundant waterfalls.
Swiss architect Peter Zumthor designed this pine structure on Norway’s Vardø island in memory of suspected witches who were burned at the stake there in the seventeenth century. An installation by the late artist Louise Bourgeois occupies an accompanying pavilion clad in smoked glass.
To provide easier access to a woodland area from the small village of Sand, Rintala Eggertsson Architects built a Corten steel bridge with mesh walls above the Suldalslågen river.
Peter Zumthor also designed a series of visitors facilities on the site of 19-century zine mines in Sauda. A cafe and museum dedicated to mining history are raised on stilts over a steep cliffside, while a service building is perched on the side of a stone wall.
Reiulf Ramstad Architects’ second contribution to the tourist routes is an undulating concrete footpath located along a coastal road leading to the small fishing village of Havøysund. The structure winds down from the roadside to the beach, where visitors take a dip in the Arctic Ocean.
This wooden viewing platform perched 650 metres above Norways’s longest and deepest fjord is the main attraction on the Aurlandsfjellet Tourist Route. The 30-mile road winds through scenic mountains, where visitors can also find a concrete toilet by architect Lars Berge and an installation by artist Mark Dion.
This service building located near the Skjervsfossen waterfall features a glazed floor panel, offering visitors views of the Storelvi river while they use the toilet. It has been clad in local stone to blend in with the surrounding landscape.
By contrast, this public toilet housed in a small rusty cabin is nestled into the Lofoten archipelago’s dramatic scenery – but it eschews windows in order to give tourists a break from sightseeing.
Although still under construction, this sinuous hotel by Snøhetta deserves a spot on the list. Located on the Lofoten route, the structure will wind across a rocky outcrop to offer both mountain and sea views – joining the Eggum rest stop completed by the firm ten years ago. It is expected to complete in 2020.
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