Gimsøystruamen is an 18 kilometre-long sound between the islands of Vestvågøy and Vågan in the Lofoten archipelago.

Jarmund/Vigsnæs AS
Gimsøystraumen. Photo: Steinar Skaar, Statens vegvesen

Here, we wished to combine service facilities open to visitors during the tourist season with a youth centre that should remain open year round. The building also houses a café that operates during summer. The climate in this area is rough, vegetation is sparse and the large, open landscape presents some challenges to designers. The architects envisaged a building designed as a large rock, like a boulder left behind by an ice-age glacier. The entrance to the building is a highly visible element, similar to an open mouth that visualizes the interior.

To Gimsøystraumen


The waterfall is large and mighty, since the river generally runs high.

Jarmund/Vigsnæs AS
Steinsdalsfossen. Photo: Roger Ellingsen, Statens vegvesen

The Steinsdalsfossen waterfall is a key gateway to Norwegian Scenic Route Hardanger. The waterfall is large and mighty, since the river generally runs high. Because of a peculiar rock formation underneath the edge, visitors can walk behind the falling curtain of water while staying dry and safe.

Steindalsfossen is well visited throughout the summer season, and the car park was too small. In addition, the old path leading up to the waterfall was worn and had become unstable. The area has been upgraded with a spacious car park, a new service building with facilities and information stands, and the path has been upgraded and secured. The service building with its several untraditional angles points towards as well as frames the view of the waterfall.  The building and the abutment wall towards the main road are constructed in plate-formwork concrete with added copper filings. This gives the concrete a particular green hue that causes it to blend into the verdant scenery. The path is shaped in a series of steps and provides for a comfortable stroll up towards the waterfall.

To Steinsdalsfossen