Reststop Akkarvikodden / Manthey Kula Architects

© Paul Warchol

Architects: Manthey Kula Architects
Location: Lofoten,
Photographs: Paul Warchol, Steinar Skaar 


© Paul Warchol

The project is situated in Lofoten, along one of the National Tourist Routes in Norway. There are eighteen such routes in Norway, all chosen for their spectacular and characteristic landscape. The facilities for the tourists that drive along these roads; such as rest stops, viewing platforms and links to local points of interest are carried out by architects and landscape architects with the purpose of offering an experience of both nature and design. By now 6 routes already have Tourist Routes status and 12 more are in the planning. The project will be finished by 2016.

The Roadside Toilet Facility at Akkarvikodden is built in connection with existing rest stop designed by landscape architect Inge Dahlmann/Landskapsfabrikken. The commission given to Manthey Kula was to design a toilet facility that could replace an existing structure that had been lifted off its foundations by the strong winds from the Atlantic Ocean.

© Paul Warchol

Lofoten is located at the 67th and 68th parallels north of the Arctic Circle in North Norway. The site for the project is extraordinary. The road runs on a narrow plateau between the mountains and the sea. Were the rest stop is the plateau widens out and one experience entering a space between the mountains from where the view to the horizon is very powerful.

The design had two aims. One was to make the small building very heavy so it would not be lifted off ground. The other was to make interiors that shut the scenery out. The first objective was of course very pragmatic, a direct response to the history of the building’s predecessor. The other objective was more obscure. The experience of the place, mountains and sea and the ever-present coastal climate is very intense. The restrooms were conceived to present a pause from the impressions of the surrounding nature, offering an experience of different sensuous qualities.

© Steinar Skaar

The rest room is open only during summer season thus the building did not have to be insulated. Initially it was planned in concrete. However, after having checked the work of some local mechanical industries the designed changed to a body of welded plates. The structure of the small building is not unlike the structure of a ship: welded steel plates locally reinforced with steel flanges – every part specially designed for its specific use.

The foundation and the two walls that supports the stainless steel sanitary equipment are cast concrete. Glass panes are 12 and 20mm thick. Doors are built in 5 mm stainless steel plates. Walls and roof are made of 10mm corteen steel.

To prevent rust from discoloring the clothes of the visitors parts of the walls are lined with glass panels. In the smallest rest room one glass panel is mounted in the ceiling. In this panel one can see the reflection of the horizon.


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* Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address.
Cite: "Reststop Akkarvikodden / Manthey Kula Architects" 13 Mar 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed 23 May 2015. <>
  • Nikola

    In any toilette surface materials have to be resistant on, HCl, Cl, or other chemicals. Here I see exposed concrete and steel with rust. Despite the most important, the form, have these architects ever thought about hygiene?

  • TH

    are you saying this represents a potential health risk? someone might die? maybe the architects did THINK about those questions, instead of acritically accepting all the regulations… you know, one day, in a not so distant future, you will say ‘i want to build a house’ and one second after you say it there’s nothing more you can do or dream about. all is taken and conformed by codes and rules… this will be the day the word ‘house’ represents nothing but an aglomerate of rules and bureaucracies. it will be a sad day. even so, some may like it: everything will be much more legal and hygienic…!

  • Nikola

    Then, why don’t they become sculptors, if they don’t want to mess with regulations and hygiene.

  • LZ

    I’ll rather piss outdoors, than in this “I have connection in the community administration to make me famous architect”.
    Shame for the nature.

  • h.a.

    wow! all these comments sound pretty cynical to me. It is a fantastic piece of architecture in the landscape. Does that count? plus I don´t see what is not functional in this project

  • mhash

    It may be a touch overwrought. Seems like it would have been more successful had it been made as originally intended…out of concrete. It also seems a bit grand given its purpose. If the intent was to provide a contemplative space than the utilization of natural light may have manifested itself differently than large picture windows that are not meant to be looked out of. Either way…nice project.

  • TH

    So, Nikola, for you, the difference between architecture and sculpture is just regulation?

  • Lauri

    I wonder why is archdaily showcasing only this weird restroom with very heavy steel doors, which is only part of the area.
    The actual rest area (which this toilet is part of) is also very attractive design.

  • Nikola

    In a few years when I’ll visit this restroom because I like it (I’m not cynical, I really like it), I hope the smell wont be that strong so I could approach it, to take photo.

    PS: where does the sewage goes? Its a national park. Or that is not a subject for sustainability of architecture…

    • Andrew

      It’s not in any national park…

  • TH

    Great, that makes 2 of us!

  • TH

    P.S. – as to the sewage I would guess that there’s just a reservoir that is emptied regularly during the summer.