ROMSDAL VALLEY – ‘I wanted to make the transition between inside and outside as rich and dynamic as possible,’ says Reiulf Ramstad of his dramatically peaked Troll Gate restaurant and visitors’ centre in Norway’s Romsdal Valley.
‘The architecture had to be tailored to the site, which is breath-taking,’ adds the Oslo-based architect. ‘It’s at the foot of Europe’s highest mountain wall – a location that had to be respected.’
Soaring 1.7 km into the sky, the rock face dwarfs Ramstad’s spiky steel-and-glass construction, which pays homage to the spectacular view by allowing it to totally dominate the interior. Scenery is framed by a kind of stained-glass window of glazed panels and steel tracery, entrancing visitors and dignifing the low-budget materials used: inexpensive charred spruce, pine plyboard and concrete.
The building is the first stage in a landscape project intended to promote walking in the area with the addition of pathways, bridges and seating elements all designed by Ramstad’s office.
‘It’s very important that visitors and locals enjoy this place in a different way,’ says the architect. ‘To be a sustainable activity, tourism must respect place.’
Photos courtesy of Reiulf Ramstad