Seven years after groundbreaking, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) has completed its extensive upgrade of the well-known gateway to Jotunheimen. Illustration: Knut Hjeltnes Sivilarkitekter MNAL

Gjende is one of three major Norwegian tourism attractions that will appear in new splendour in the 2024 tourist season, after many years of construction work. The two others are Torghatten on Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten (14 June), and Vøringsfossen on Norwegian Scenic Route Hardangervidda (18 September).

The service building forms a boundary between the busy mountain terminal and Jotunheimen National Park. The building is easy to see from all directions, and not least for mountain hikers from Besseggen as they descend towards Gjende. An important challenge for the architect was therefore to design a building without a rear and with a beautiful roof.

New service building near the lake.
New service building with cafe, kitchen, necessary storage rooms, staff rooms, technical rooms and toilet facilities. Photo: Tonje Tjernet, Statens vegvesen

Spruce and pine give the interior a calm expression and the large windows allow the visitor to take in Lake Gjende and the steep green mountainsides.

With the new building, the NPRA is completing its multi-year project to give Reinsvangen/Gjende the boost needed to make it a complete national tourist facility. In addition to the terminal building, a new concrete pier has been established, with a quay building for storage of the Gjende boat as well as a roof-covered bench for travellers waiting for the boat.

Illustration of wharf, service building and lake.
With the new terminal building, Gjende will be significantly upgraded and become a complete mountain terminal for the many thousands of visitors from home and abroad. Illustration: Knut Hjeltnes Sivilarkitekter MNAL

At Lake Gjende, nature has taken over the parking area that has been moved to Reinsvangen, where the existing car park has been greatly expanded. Reinsvangen also has a new service building with toilets, seating for travellers waiting for the shuttle bus, and roof-covered bicycle parking for bikes.

The NPRA is opening the new terminal building at Gjendeosen on Wednesday 19 June at 13:00. Harald Sve Bjørndal, Mayor of Vågå municipality, will be performing the official opening.

Architect: Knut Hjeltnes Sivilarkitekter / Contractor: Brun Bygg AS / Contracting client: NPRA