A concrete flying carpet provides for a sky-high Norwegian outlook

The carpet is not be styled, but comes forth as a serene and plain construction. Photo Jiri Havran

GULARFJELL – The National Tourist Routes in Norway started out as a test project in 1994 and by 2024 the country will have 240 new architectural constructions along 18 different roadways, criss-crossing the most scenic part of the countryside from south to north.

When the Norwegian architectural firm Code was competing for the newly launched viewpoint at Gaularfjell in Sogn og Fjordane, surrounded by 1500-m tall mountains, they realised the spot needed a construction that would be seen as well as felt in the scenery. The idea arose to create a thick carpet resting calmly on the site with ‘carpet ears’ blowing up into the air creating different viewing spots. The carpet should not be styled, but come forth as a serene and plain construction.

To understand how they should get the exact right position of the carpet in the landscape, the architects went up to the site with a hoist and surveying equipment. For two days they let themselves be lifted out into mid air over the 700-m high dip, taking measurements of the best views before they went home and designed a form.

Two engineers were deeply involved in what ended up as a 600-cubic-meter concrete triangle covering 150 tonnes of steel reinforcement. To be absolutely prepared for the challenging concrete casts at the tip of the mountain, they actually erected parts of the construction at another plot as gigantic prototypes. Today, visitors can drive safely all the way onto the carpet and ascent the ‘ears’ finding themselves in different hovering positions.

Photos courtesy of Code/Jiri Havran


Article originally published in Mark magazine issue #64

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