The bridge leads to a path on the south side, where heather covers the river delta in a lush green carpet.
In addition to providing travellers with service facilities, benches, shelter and a car park, the rest area at Lillefjord on the Norwegian Scenic Route Havøysund was intended as the starting point for hikes to a waterfall further up the valley. To draw attention to this hiking opportunity, we decided to build a new bridge in a spot that would render it highly visible from the road.
In fact, all the service functions in this rest area are housed inside the bridge. At the start of the bridge near the car park is a space with benches and a shelter with access to the service facilities. From there, the bridge continues in a flight of stairs leading to a platform with benches, directly above the river. The bridge is held up by a prefabricated steel frame. The construction and the materials are adapted to the stark character of the landscape and the harsh local climate. The copper-clad roof and the greying woodwork are maintenance-free. The wood panelling inside the body of the bridge also forms the seats, back supports and railings. The direction of the panelling follows the changing directions of the bridge’s structure.
Here, there was need for a site where travellers could take a rest while remaining sheltered from the wind and rain.
The prevailing winds sweep in from the fjord, while this direction also offers the most attractive view. Three box-chairs have been placed on the grass area near the mouth of the river. These have two openings, permitting visitors to choose whether to sit on the leeward side or facing the view. The box-chairs have been raised from the ground, and the lowermost open edge of the box serves as a bench. The boxes are placed at varying angles, to create a variety of situations both in terms of space and with a view to the changeable weather. The roof and sides of the boxes provide comfortable shelter from the rain and wind. The construction is made of welded steel plates, which were prefabricated at Havøysund Patentslipp, a local enterprise. On the inside, the boxes are clad in oak with panelled sides and benches made of oak slats. Their exterior is covered in untreated, overlapping copper plates, which will gradually oxidize and assume a green hue.
As you come round the hill at Storberget, the landscape opens up towards the sea and the horizon.
This is where you first encounter the fiord, the ocean and the distinct nature that characterises the entire route towards Havøysund. Storberget offers an open landscape with several horizontal lines; the ocean horizon, the waterline where the plains meet the sea, and the line of the higher plains above the valley and the river.
In line with the horizon, there are two light-coloured, light-reflective concrete platforms. They might give off a glow at dusk, or light up when they reflect car headlights, moonlight or the northern lights. This platform has integrated benches in oak heartwood where you can sit down, as on a cliff or on the edge of a pier, and gaze at the horizon. Below the platform there is a lower level where you may rest your feet, or sit down and find shelter from the wind.
The parking facilities and the viewpoint facing northeast are connected by a footpath and a viewpoint facing north. On concrete benches with patches of oak, you may look to the north, at the light hues of the sandy riverbed and the Russelva river winding its way to the mouth of the fjord.