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Global Architecture Platform

Scenic Routes

Valdresflyi, Norway, 2006
Lofoten, Norway, 2014

Norwegian Scenic Routes started in 1994, initially as a way to increase tourism in rural areas by selecting picturesque routes around Norway. It was not until 2004 that the project expanded to include eighteen roads designated by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, officially declared National Tourist Routes in 2015. The current routes cover over 1,850 km along the west coast in the north and the mountains in the south of the country, and have been especially designated to protect and enhance the scenic, cultural and historical assets of the Norwegian highway system.

To enhance visitors’ experience with nature, a number of rest stops, car parks and viewpoints are located along the routes. These places were originally designed by young Norwegian architects, but the success of the project extended participation to well-known architects and artists as it became an attraction in its own right. The projects realized by Knut Hjeltnes on the Norwegian Scenic Routes system offer an example of this type of intervention that relates infrastructure and landscape.

Rjupa vantage point

The project uses simple, discreet means to dramatize and strengthen the airy feeling of the landscape. The aim is also to reduce erosion of the surrounding landscape, improve safety and enhance the views. The platform is built of concrete, Corten steel and pine.

Vargbakkane vantage point

The project provides parking and creates a viewpoint overlooking Jotunheimen National Park. A simple geometric shape following the slope of the road helps to remedy the former potential traffic danger, at the same time creating tension between the senses of sight and gravity. The project is built of concrete, Corten steel, pine and gravel.

Avalanche galleries 

Four avalanche galleries shield the road from falling rocks from the steep mountain slopes above the only road interconnecting the Lofoten islands. The focus was on creating a light, open atmosphere that showcases views of the majestic North Atlantic Ocean. The section of the galleries opens towards the sea, allowing the low northern sun to fill the whole space. The project is built of concrete.


Vantagepoint Rjupa
Valdresflyi, Norway, 2001 – 2006
Knut Hjeltnes sivilarkitekter MNAL AS; Knut Hjeltnes, Karen Jansen

Vantagepoint Vargbakkane
Valdresflyi, Norway, 2003 – 2006
Knut Hjeltnes sivilarkitekter MNAL AS; Knut Hjeltnes, Karen Jansen

Avalanche galleries
Lofoten, Norway, 2010-2014
Knut Hjeltnes sivilarkitekter MNAL AS; Knut Hjeltnes, Øystein Trondahl

31.Jul.2019 2023 views
Knut Hjeltnes Knut Hjeltnes

Knut Hjeltnes (Drøbak, Norway, 1961) studied at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim from 1980-86. During the latter half of his studies and for one and a half years after graduating he worked for 4B Architects. He was professor at the Oslo school of Architecture from 1988 to 2016. He has lectured in several countries, has been awarded several prizes and his work is widely published. He established his office in Oslo as a one-man practice in 1988, slowly expanding to its current size of 5-6 employees. The office concentrates on houses, weekend houses and small public works.

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