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Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen

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Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

The Aurland (or Stegastein) Lookout is a viewing platform which takes visitors out on to a lofty perch overlooking the Aurlandsfjord. The Norwegian Highways Department commissioned the project as part of a publicly funded initiative to boost tourism along the country’s spectacular secondary roads.The National Tourist Routes Project has engaged innovative architects to introduce lookouts, picnic areas, parking lots, public restrooms and other modestly scaled, nature-attuned structures into Norway’s stunning landscapes.

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Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

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Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

Like a ski jump or high footbridge, the Aurland Lookout has a gravity-defying quality, as if suspending visitors in thin air. The viewing platform, clad in pine over a steel structure, offers a long, bridge-like path which doubles back on itself like a great sideways V, and cantilevers over the fjord.

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Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

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Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

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Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

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Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

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Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

At the path’s end, some 650 m (2,133 ft) above sea level, only a canted pane of clear safety glass separates viewers from a plunge over the edge. This transparent panel leaves the pristine vista unobstructed.

Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen - Norway.

Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen - Norway.

Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

The side rails, constructed of glue-laminated pine planks, follow the V’s curve, accentuating the structure’s acute angle and sudden downward slope.

Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen - Norway.

Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen – Norway. Photographer: Bent René Synnevåg, Nils Vik

The structure is inserted into the mountainside without sacrificing the existing pine grove, allowing view seekers on the platform to stroll out amid treetops. The structure, which rests on concrete foundations, touches the ground minimally, barely impinging on the site’s natural beauty.

Location

5745 Aurland

Norway
7.21295,60.9081

Client name

Norwegian Highways Department
Floor area

182 m² (1,959 sq ft)
Cost EUR €2,725,000
Accessibility

Open to the public 24 hours/day
  • Status Completed 2006

Photos

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2 comments on “Aurland Lookout by Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen

  1. Norway At Home
    November 5, 2015

    I just love how Norway has an expectation for architecture to be a destination in itself. With this, for example, everyone is looking at a dead end pedestrian bridge, and it is beautiful enough to both grace the scenery and be the story itself. Remarkable!

    • Marietta
      November 9, 2015

      Thank you very much for telling me how much you have enjoyed reading my blog post! I sincerely appreciate your kind response regarding my efforts to make Norwegian architecture known. 🙂

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This entry was posted on November 5, 2015 by in ARCHITECTURE and tagged , , , , , , , , , .

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