The road crossing Sognefjell mountain area is the highest pass road in Norway. The road is a main connection between the east and west part of the country, and during a few summer months this route is used by thousands of tourists on their way to the fjords at the west coast. Because of rough weather conditions the road is closed during winter, spring and fall. Being one of the scenic highlights of the country, the travellers make many stops along the road, and spend a lot of time outside the car to watch the magnificent nature.

To get the best lookout, one often has to cross steep slopes and ditches. Many people remain at the roadway to capture their vista shots, and dangerous traffic situations may occur. At the most attractive places the vulnerable high mountain vegetation is threatened by wear of man - wide areas of nature can easily be changed into dirt and sand.

The program for the project was to solve these problems, by making of defined places to enjoy the view, from an optimal lookout condition. An intention was also to create a conspicuous object, establishing an articulated division between nature and architecture. At this point, three platforms are built along the road. The platforms accommodate different landscape situations, and they are also "sites" for various installations (i.e. sight apparatus for mountain tops, stands for geological information etc.).

The pre-cast concrete elements are the same for all sites, making a recognisable family likeness. The diameter of the circular floor measures 4.8 meters, and the height varies from 0.5 to 4 meters above the ground. Stairs, bridges and pathways connect the platform to the surrounding ground. Foundation walls, cast on site, adapt the platforms to local topography.

One of the beautiful aspects of being a tourist is the privilege of constantly changing roles, between the one of the participant, and the one of the onlooker. Many physical arrangements for travellers - not least in Norway - make these roles obscured.

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Sight Apparatus
Sognefjell, Luster. 1997

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