Sognefjellsvegen (National road #55) was one of the pilot stretches of the Norwegian National Tourist Road Project (Turistvegprosjektet) and the interventions along this road were done in the mid 90s. In 2003, in connection with the formal announcement of Sognefjelsvegen as a National Tourist Road a number of minor interventions were made to further improve the driving experience.

Nufshaug is an upgrade of an existing stop point, formed by a road cut into a steep mountainside. The point is located between the two accommodation facilities in Bøvertun and Krossbu, and coming from the east side of the mountain, the stop will be on the right hand side and by most travellers perceived as the first point with a truly spectacular view. Stopping here you will also notice that you are standing on a ridge between two creeks, and a path leading down to a small hill below the road.

Among Tourist Road attractions this stop-point definitely plays a minor part and is one of many interventions that lets the visitor enjoy the surrounding nature “undisturbed”. From an architectonic point of view the programme is nevertheless interesting since it invited to a relatively close study of a well-known situation.

The programme for the stop-point was, as in the case of most stopping-points, to ensure a pleasant and safe exit from the main road, as well as supplying parking possibility for a shorter period of time. Other important aspects to be considered was that many of the visitors would want to photograph the view, and that cyclist and drivers should be able to take a snack or a cigarette break. The stop-point is on however not defined as a picnic area or viewpoint.

In terms of physical solution the area was divided into different sections with different surface materials: The asphalt is drawn in to a triangular shape at the entry and exit point to ensure a safe and pleasant transition between the asphalt and the gravel. The two materials are separated by a road-levelled concrete ridge securing the asphalt form being torn by the breaking and accelerating of passing cars. The well-known sound of tires running from asphalt, onto gravel, and then to stop became an important quality in the design. This sound, a fundamental “stopping-point-sound”, together with the two rushing creeks forms the specific ambient sound of the site.

The walkway along the stop-point perimeter is made of prefabricated concrete elements, linked with visible steel joints. The top-faces of the elements are cast with 2mm of exposed aggregate, shimmering in the sun and ensuring a slip-free surface. The walkway elements form a 15 cm high edge toward the parking area, and a sitting-level edge facing the view.

Apart from the architectural challenges of the assignment, the work with the stop-point proved to be an interesting contact with regulations and strong road-building traditions. A lot of effort was put into bringing order to the given ingredients: white stripes, railings, safety-fences, collision risk, snow-removal, maintenance, economy.

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Nufshaug Stop Point
Sognefjell, Lom.

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