Spectacular Scenic Route attraction opens in Hardanger
On Wednesday 31 August 2022, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration (NPRA) is opening Espenes rest area with a viewing pavilion and toilet facilities.
Director General Ingrid Dahl Hovland of the NPRA will perform the official opening.
Espenes is a great stop between Kinsarvik and Odda, with long traditions as a rest area on National Road 13 in Sørfjorden. The old rest area was used as a lay-down area when the national road was being upgraded, and remained as a large flat gravel surface in the otherwise very steep and hilly landscape. Here, the NPRA has built a new and modern rest area as part of the Norwegian Scenic Routes attraction.
The distinctive feature of this facility is a 64-metre-long and 4-metre-wide structure in stainless steel, with 12 roof modules of varying heights. The roof structure is held up by massive steel pillars on a concrete base plate. The welded steel plates are 6 mm thick and weigh a total of 31 tonnes.
The highest part near the road contains toilet facilities, while seating areas under the low roof structure offer a great view northwards along Sørfjorden. Under the roof vaults, the visitor will experience different sections of the landscape space along with the changing reflections of the light in the steel.
-Espenes as a Scenic Route installation offers travellers a pleasant break among steep mountains and precipitous rocks, with the fiord as a natural eye-catcher and companion, says Bjarne Ringstad of Code Arkitektur.
The plan was for the facility to be completed in the autumn of 2021. That didn’t happen. A pandemic, delayed steel deliveries and rough weather in Western Norway - the challenges piled up for the new iconic structure at Espenes.
Now the Scenic Route Attraction is finally in place at a total cost of NOK 40 million, financed by national government funds allocated to Norwegian Scenic Routes.
Contracting client: NPRA, Norwegian Scenic Routes
Architect: Code Arkitektur AS
Contractor: Brun Bygg AS
Steel contractor: Størksen Rustfri Industri AS