A Snaking Concrete Pavilion that Links the Roadside to the Ocean
June 29, 2012
The Havøysund Tourist Route by Reiulf Ramstad Architects; All photos: courtesy of the architects
Rest stops just aren’t what they used to be–they’re a lot more. Designed as sculptural one-offs, the contemporary rest stop is called upon to both embody and communicate a country’s singular cultural sensibilities and idiosynchrasies–at least, those which have been officially sanctioned by tourism departments. Five years ago, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration launched a campaign to build a robust network of such rest stops meant to enhance the country’s diverse terrain. Since it’s initiation, the project has built an extensive portfolio of severe, yet expressive structures from the likes of Peter Zumthor, among several other architects and artists.
The Havøysund Tourist Route by Reiulf Ramstad Architects is the latest of these to be completed. Located in the “extreme north” of Norway, the project bridges the gulf from roadside to beach. The winding concrete pavilion frames spectacular views of the clear blue waters of the Arctic Ocean. Continue.
Because the landscape on which the walkway treads is, in the words of the architects, ”almost lunar in its barren and inhospitable beauty”, the concrete folly was designed and built to be extremely resilient, nearly entirely self-sustainable, requiring little maintenance, if any at all. Its whorls are densely packed, intimately coiling along the beachfront to lengthen the journey from car to ocean. Circular apertures are punched out of the walls, helping to animate the sulking beast, while beton drums and integrated wood benches make it functional (more or less).