Aurland Lookout Norway
The Aurland Lookout is a 14-foot wide by 110 feet long wooden viewing platform that reaches out over one of the largest and most spectacular fjords in western Norway. Its difficult to know what’s more impressive, the views or the fact that the only thing standing between you and the ravine 2,133 feet below is a a pane of glass. Yes that’s glass!
This project is part of a national program on tourist routes commissioned by the Norwegian Highway Department. The pictures say more than a thousand words.
Norwegian architects Todd Saunders and Tommie Wilhelmsen designed this striking wooden viewing platform, which rises a whopping 2,133 feet over the water in Aurland. It’s part of a more than $400 million initiative to transform Norway’s copious natural beauty into design destinations. Launched in 2002, the 18-year-long program taps predominantly young Norwegian architects and designers to spruce up 18 designated “National Tourist Routes” — scenic highways — with assorted overlooks, walkways, picnic areas, and toilets. Now, at the halfway mark, Norway has built around 120 sites, from the Aurland Lookout to an elevated concrete walkway that winds through the trees of the Rondane National Park to a memorial for persecuted witches by Louise Bourgeois and Pritzker Prize-winner Peter Zumthor which will open this summer.
According to the architects: “Nature first and architecture second was the guiding principal’.
The question is …
Just because we can should we be building statement structures in areas of outstanding natural beauty?