This project won the 2013 Architizer A+ Jury and Popular Choice Awards in BOTH the Government & Municipal Buildings AND Parks categories. See the full list of winners here.
Rising above misty Norwegian fjords, the Trollstigen National Tourist Route provides unprecedented access to a sublime Scandinavian landscape. The bold forms and robust materiality employed by Oslo-based Reiulf Ramstad Architects evoke rugged modernism with a cinematic flair. This exquisite project astounded our esteemed jurors and avid fans alike, sweeping both the Jury and Popular Choice Awards in two different categories to become the most highly decorated Architizer A+ winner! A masterwork of composition and material, the project's true beauty lies in its restraint and technical execution, perched atop the world.
The Trollstigen plateau is a narrow slice of flat land wedged between two deep fjords in coastal Norway. While the breathtaking landscape is a national treasure, providing safe access for visitors is staggeringly complicated. The region's inhospitable climate restricts safe visitation to the short summer season, when the near 20 feet of winter snowfall temporarily abates. Architect Christian Skram Fuglset explains that the seemingly insurmountable project was approached by "considering all the architecture of the place as built landscape, rather than conventional buildings." Much of the intervention is exterior space, says Fuglset, "conceived of as a thin thread that guides visitors from one stunning overlook to another."
The extensive project is composed of a primary mountain lodge with restaurant and gallery and an extensive network of paths and viewing platforms. By methodically designing each component out of cast-in-place concrete and COR-TEN steel, the architects developed "a robust facility, dimensioned for durability with minimal maintenance and large static stresses." But the elegant aesthetic transcends the strict functionally to achieve an architecture "characterized by clear and precise transition between the architecture and the natural landscape." The resulting structure—which combines state-of-the-art engineering with a deep sense of place and stunning design—is a testament to the inspirational power of architecture.
Images courtesy Reiulf Ramstad Architects