When looking at examples of initiatives aimed at relaunching and revitalising the “internal and rural” parts of a nation, one of the most interesting is certainly the Scenic Routes of the Statens vegvesen, the NPRA or Norwegian Public Roads Administration. The experience gained by Norway through its vast network of routes in which architecture and landscape find themselves in perfect harmony, in fact, has an important impact on commercial development in the country’s rural areas. The initiative is constantly evolving and is making headway despite the difficulties associated with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Just in time for the new tourist season, six new Scenic Route projects will join the existing ones, while four more are planned for next year. By the end of 2023, after 30 years of work and development of the network, the Norwegian Scenic Routes program will present itself as an integrated attraction consisting of approximately 190 architectural and artistic installations, distributed over 18 routes that unwind through beautiful Norwegian landscapes and nature.
The projects completed for the 2021 tourist season involve six different Norwegian Scenic Routes. The Lie Øyen Arkitekter studio has designed a joint project for the NPRA and the municipality of Jæren in Refsnesstranda, on the Norwegian Scenic Route Jæren, a new facility with toilets, showers and parking. The building is clad with metal panels that reflect the surrounding landscape and the atmospheric conditions, while a trail with a wooden bridge connects it to the sand dunes below.
In Ropeid, on the Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke, the KAP studio has completed the recovery project of the ferry landing area, which remained unused and abandoned after the construction of the Sandsfjord bridge in 2015. The new project transforms the site into an area suitable for picnics and for admiring the surrounding landscape, integrating perfectly with the service building designed by the Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor studio in 2005.
The Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor studio was also responsible for designing two different projects completed in 2021. In Oscarshaug, one of the most popular rest areas of the Norwegian Scenic Route Sognefjellet, the architects designed a new shell structure to protect the old pre-existing building, together with the much-needed internal renovation of the same.
Along the Norwegian Scenic Route Havøysund, in the Havøysund fishing village, the same firm also designed the building that encloses and protects the new installation created by the American artist Roni Horn. Two sculptural glass objects inspired by the theme of transparency and light, and closely connected to the distinctive natural phenomena that characterise the area: midnight sun, northern lights and winter darkness.
In Moskenes, along the Norwegian Scenic Route Lofoten, the Vardehaugen Arkitekter architecture firm designed a new pavilion that offers beautiful panoramic sea views, to be enjoyed by tourists alongside other services while waiting to board the Bodø.
Finally, architect Inge Dahlman from the Asplan Viak studio completed an important landscape project in Mortensnes / Ceavccageađgi along the Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger. One of the most important sites in Scandinavian culture linked to the history of the Sami people, the project concerns the renovation of the parking area and the access to the museum, as well as the information area and the trails.>
Images courtesy of Norwegian Scenic Routes by Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA)
photos by: Hugo Fagermo, Fredrik Fløgstad, Frid-Jorunn Stabell, Tonje Tjernet
PROJECTS TO BE COMPLETED FOR THE 2021 TOURIST SEASON:
Refsnesstranda – Norwegian Scenic Route Jæren
Architect: Lie Øyen Arkitekter.
Ropeid - Norwegian Scenic Route Ryfylke
Oscarshaug - Norwegian Scenic Route Sognefjellet
Architect: Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor as
Moskenes – Norwegian Scenic Route Lofoten
Architect: Vardehaugen Arkitekter AS.
Roni Horn's art installation – Norwegian Scenic Route Havøysund
Artist: Roni Horn.
Architect: Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor AS.
Mortensnes /Ceavccageađgi – Norwegian Scenic Route Varanger
Landscape architect: Inge Dahlman, Asplan Viak.