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The Roadside Rest Room at Akkarvikodden is built in connection with an existing rest stop designed by landscape architect Inge Dahlmann/Landskapsfabrikken. The commission given to Manthey Kula was to design a toilet facility that could replace an existing structure that had been lifted off its foundations by the strong winds from the Atlantic Ocean.
Lofoten is located at the 68th parallels north of the Arctic Circle in North Norway. The site for the project is extraordinary. The road runs on a narrow plateau between the mountains and the sea. Were the rest stop is the plateau widens out and one enters a space between the mountains from where the view to the horizon is very powerful.
The design had two aims; one rational, the other irrational. One was to make the small building very heavy so it would not be lifted off ground. The other was to make interiors that shut the scenery out. The first objective was of course very pragmatic, a direct response to the history of the building’s predecessor. The other objective was more obscure. The experience of the place: the mountains and the sea and the ever-present coastal climate is very intense. The restrooms were conceived to present a pause from the impressions of the surrounding nature, offering an experience of different sensuous qualities.
The rest room is open only during summer season thus the building did not have to be insulated. Initially it was planned in concrete. However, after having seen the work of some local mechanical industries the design was changed to a body of steel. The structure of the small building is not unlike the structure of a ship: welded steel plates locally reinforced with steel flanges – every part especially designed for its specific use, every part necessary.
The wall and roof elements are made of 10mm corten steel plates. The foundation and the two walls that support the stainless steel sanitary equipment are in situ concrete. The glass panes are 12 and 20mm thick. Doors and hinges are hand made in stainless steel.
To prevent rust from discoloring the clothes of the visitors parts of the walls are lined with clear glass panels that are fastened to the steel flanges. In the smallest rest room one glass panel is mounted in the ceiling. In this panel one can see the reflection of the horizon.
Location: Akkarvikodden, 8390 Reine in Lofoten, Norway
Area: 37 m2
Client: National Tourist Routes in Norway
Architects: Manthey Kula ans – Per Tamsen and Beate Hølmebakk
Photographs: Paul Warchol – Knut Hjeltnes – Manthey Kula