Mountain halo design wins architecture prize

An Oslo-based team of architects has won an international jury’s prize for an “enrapturing” halo-on-a-mountain design for an alpine lookout and its panoramic pathway.

Mountain halo design wins architecture prize
Photo: MIR/Code: arkitektur

Designers at Code: arkitektur AS impressed the World Architecture News (WAN) jury with the same entry that won over judges from the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, or Veivesen. The pedestrian road topping the Vøringfossen waterfalls in Eidfjord struck the WAN judges with what they described as its “wow factor”.

“It’s lovely to think that they are not so protective about their landscape that they can’t see something like this adding to it,” said Neil Porter of Gustafson Porter, who judged the “Fosseslynga” — or waterfall sling — design. The sling won best design in the “unbuilt” category with its circular trail, path, ramp and bridge.

The goal of the design was to use architecture to combine country roads and landscapes for added tourist value on Veivesen’s prized National Tourist Routes. The fabled Vøringfossen mountain pass divides eastern and western Norway while already attracting 500,000 tourists every year.

Though it won the WAN award in the unbuilt category, the Fosseslynga lost in a 2010 contest  when public roads officials chose the better known C-V Hølmebakk Arkitektkontor, a firm which had already drawn up landmarks along Norway’s Tourist Routes.

External link: Fosseslynga slide show

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Danish architect designs flagship Norwegian whale centre

Danish designer Dorte Mandrup will be the architect behind a visitors’ centre for whale spotters northern Norway.

Danish architect designs flagship Norwegian whale centre
An Orca photographed within the Norwegian Arctic Circle. File photo: Olivier MORIN / AFP

The centre, named The Whale, will be located at Andenes, 300 kilometers north of the Arctic Circle, Norwegian business media E24 and Danish newspaper Berlingske reported.

Initially launched in May 2018 at an estimated cost of around 200 million Norwegian kroner, the project is priced at up to 350 million Norwegian kroner, according to E24 and Berlingske. It is expected to be completed in 2022.

The whale centre has already attracted attention from travel publisher Lonely Planet.

According to the website of Mandrup’s archictectural firm, the building “rises as a soft hill on the rocky shore – as if a giant had lifted a thin layer of the crust of the earth and created a cavity underneath”.

Up to 70,000 people annually have been projected to visit the remote wildlife centre, which will be a combination of museum and tourist attraction.

Because of its geographical position, scenery and wildlife at Andenes makes the area a unique attraction.

That includes a midnight sun for two months from May to July, as well as the winter polar nights, when the sun doesn’t rise at all.

READ ALSO: North Norway's polar night is about to begin. Here are the facts you need to know