Text description provided by the architects. The rest stop and buidling is located at 700 metres above sea level, beside the Atnbrufossen waterfall to the east of the Rondane Mountains in central Norway. Surrounded by well-maintained historic farms, this attractive cultural heritage site with the waterfall is already an appreciated roadstop. The functioning saw mill, owned and run by the local community, is among other traditional markers the main element in this outdoor museum.
During the planning stage of the new National Tourist Route parking site for the museum area, it became clear that that two existing buildings (a basic toilet and a telecom-central) were in an unacceptable state. They were seen as ”disturbing architecture” for the area. Having identified the need for the museum to have an additional exhibition space, it was finally decided that the best solution was to have all these functions under one roof.
The fragile heritage area in itself gave strong guidance as to how to adapt the existing buildings in tune with the landscape. To build from wood was the most obvious and natural choice. The idea was to have the architecture of the building resonate with our time, while at the same time demonstrate a profound respect for the integrity of the cultural environment and its surroundings.
The main structure consists of glue laminated timber frames, filled in with either massive wood elements or glass. Outside cladding is made of high quality local pine with natural impregnation. All joints are made of corten steel. This gives the building a rusted, natural grey look. Large flat stone blocks frame the parking space, establishing an entrance plaza. The birch forest in the front is pruned down to the right density so as to let the sun through the branches for a soft-shadow effect inside the exhibition room.