Photography by MORFEUS Støvring Wille
Built around the existing terrain, the breathtaking “Bukkekjerka” rest area project is found along the Scenic Route Andøya in Northern Norway.
Positioned alongside a road that separates steep mountains to the east from the sea to the west the facility has been designed by Oslo studio MORFEUS arkitekter and is the remarkable architectural addition to the series of 18 driving routes, which pass through Norway’s natural highlights. Andøya follows a portion of the coast past a rock formation called Bohkegeargi, which is a protected cultural monument connected with the heritage of the local Sami people. The rocks form a natural altar and pulpit where offerings to the gods were once made. It is now used for open-air church services that attract people from across the district.
When the architects Caroline Støvring and Cecilie Wille first came to the site they were struck by the beauty of the place, and by its diversity; a dramatic landscape where the fierce North Sea meets the shore and later steep mountains. There are Sami tales and monuments connected to different parts of the land, remnants of an old fishing community, old lighthouses towards east, and consecrated ground and unique geological formations to the south – all surrounding the rock formation known as “Bukkekjerka”. They wanted to highlight all these different places by introducing several and dispersed elements to the site.
Their intention was to unveil and experience different elements gradually, encouraging further exploration and experience of the inherent qualities of the place.
The main architectural expression consists of folded concrete, inspired by the jagged mountain peaks in the area. The forms and materiality of the new interventions are informed by their surroundings, with angular concrete structures scattered across the rugged terrain.
Variations in materiality are shown across their different functions - the MORFEUS team wanted the project to appear more like landscape and sculptural elements combined and less like a building.
The service building with toilets which features the HV1E in matt black (colour 27) uses one-way mirrored glass so that the visitor can enjoy the view over the open sea and the row of mountain peaks in the north, in total privacy.
On the outside, the mirror glass windows not only reflect the magnificent landscape, but also allows the structure to melt in with the surroundings, offering new and shifting experiences. The building otherwise consists of polished, acid-resistant steel that reflects the surroundings.
Bukkekjerka has a boldness that echoes the surrounding landscape and consists of number different elements such as parking and service functions to the north, a bonfire by the shore, a free-standing bench on the mountain, picnic areas, paths, and a footbridge that shows the way out towards the lighthouses. Characteristic for the site is the rock formation of “Bukkekjerka” between the road and the sea.