These projects are part of the National Tourist Routes, unique drives through the most spectacular countryside Norway has to offer. The National Tourist Routes are being developed and operated by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration as a nationwide project. Its goal is to provide a network of such routes throughout Norway by 2015.
Architects: 70ºN Arkitektur
Location: Vestvågøy, Lofoten Islands, Norway
Client: Norwegian Public Roads Administration
Project year: 2005
Photographs: Vegar Moen, Steinar Skaar, Hege Lysholm, Werner Harstad, Gösta Reiland, Helge Stikbakke, 70°N arkitektur
Two 6,5m high bird watching towers are erected at the bird reservations Skjerpenvatnet and Gårdsvatnet in Vestvågøy, Lofoten.
The entrances to the towers have been screened off with high walls and the observation platforms are formed so that no silhouettes of the bird-watchers are cast in order not to disturb the birds during the breeding season. At the entrance level there is a weather-protected room with a narrow glass observation opening. The upper level has large open areas for the best possible views. The tower is a robust steel construction with secondary wooden construction of untreated wooden fronts. The stability is important, so that the tower can withstand strong winds without affecting vibration sensitive binoculars.
Bike shed / meditation room
The bike shed is situated at Grunnfør on Austvågøy in northern Lofoten with an open northwards view towards Vesterålen and a grand southwards view towards the mountains in the south. Here the visitor can seek shelter from the wind, which can be extremely cruel, and also have a magnificent experience of the nature.
Your bike might be parked on the entrance level, where you also can prepare food in a simple but nicely protected space.
On the upper level, you can encounter the breath taking nature in a 360° panorama.
It is built with a load-bearing framework construction of steel, combined with wooden bolts. The wood clad steel construction elements create intimate shielded spaces within the view space. The chosen construction also permits an all glass façade with a 360° view.
The lower level has a concrete floor and the upper level has a wooden floor (OSB). The interior is made of plywood and the façades have a wooden cladding.
Torvdalshalsen / the rest area
The rest area is situated in an old leftover road bend with a most spectacular view from the wild ocean and mountains of Eggum in the west, to the calm farmland of Borg in the south. Borg vas the Chiefdom of Lofoten from 500AD, and hosts now a Viking museum. After taking off from the main road, you pass through the site to reach the parking space. From east to west the 60m long-wall is cut into the ground and separates the parking area from the rest area, the sun and the view. The rest area is constructed to give space for several buss loads of people. At the same time comfort and quiet is given to other travelers resting and eating. The sheltering wall is made of a steel construction covered with wooden laths and boards.
Ramps and steps along the south side of the wall are following the terrain. The steps also function as seats and they are sheltered by low walls covered with dark boards that will be heated up by the sun. The horizontal direction of the wooden laths continues, and with cuts and folds, they are turned into tables and benches.