National Tourist Route Trollstigen Service Station and Café by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

After having a one week break over Easter, I thought I’d ease my way back to work by writing a post about what I think would be an amazing holiday. I may be biased to say, seen as I love remote locations and road trips, but this Service Center and Café in Norway is truly spectacular and the perfect integration between a beautiful landscape and architecture.

Trollstigen Service Station and Café by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

Located in Trollstigen, which is apparently known as one of the most spectacular stretches of road in Norway, the visitor center and restaurant were an addition to the already existing Trollstigen Viewing Platform, as part of the country’s National Tourist Routes. Designed by Reiulf Ramstad Architects, the Complex is situated at an elevation of 850m – providing magnificent views of the Trollstigen road zigzagging up through the spectacular Istardalen Valley – and it’s subject to the extreme weather and climate changes, from snow storms to flooding. The alluring architecture covers a large area and is complemented by walkways, picnic areas, flood barriers and even a little hydroelectric power generator.

With such wonderful scenery, spectacular views and architecture, this area receives about half a million visitors a year! I suppose I’ll just have to add all of that to the list of reasons to go on a “little” road trip in Norway…

And here’s a brief description by the Architects:

location: Romsdalen, Norway
program: National tourist routes
client: Norwegian public roads administration
size: Buildings 1200 m2, landscape 150 000 m2
commision type: Invited Competition 1st prize
in cooperation with Multiconsult 13.3 landscaping (2004)
status: Completed, 2012
year: 2004 – 2012

The project enhances the experience of the Trollstigen plateau’s location and nature. Thoughtfulness regarding elements and materials underscore the site’s nature and character, and well-adapted, functional facilities augment the visitor’s experience. The architecture is characterised by clear and precise transitions between planned zones and the natural landscape. Through the notion of water as a dynamic element – from snow, to running and then falling water – and rock as a static element, the project creates a series of prepositional relations that describe and magnify the unique spatiality of the site.

Trollstigen Service Station and Café by Reiulf Ramstad Arkitekter

Photography: Reiulf Ramstad Architects

House in Yagi with an Interior Courtyard by Suppose Design Office

I’ve always been a big fan of japanese architecture and, in particular, of Makoto Tanijiri’s Suppose Design Office. This family house in Yagi, Japan, was designed purposely as an “unfinished design” to be completed by its inhabitants. Much in the studio’s style, the architecture allows for a maximum integration between the interior and exterior spaces and even brings a traditionally exterior courtyard indoors.

In spite of the house’s unfinished look, the combination of concrete and wood creates elegant and airy interior spaces.

Photography is by Toshiyuki Yano.

Here’s a project description from Suppose Design Office:

The House of Yagi is designed with the idea of an incomplete/complete form. Unlike other projects, the final stage of construction for this house was not aiming towards a finish stage, but to let the owner experience the sense of completion after living here.

Interior space of the house is designed to maximise the interaction to its surrounding environment. Ground floor material remained the same as the original site, with a single tree standing in the centre to present a natural contrast with the surrounding area. Windows of the 1st storey are kept open without any window shield or glass and creates an interesting interaction with wind and rain.

All these elements are to enhance the experience of unlimited lifestyle that you may potentially have in this house, and minimise the boundary. Through this different interpretation of connecting the exterior and interior space, new ways of living can be explored by the client.

Location: Hiroshima city, Japan
Principal use: personal house
Site area: 155.60 sqm
Building area: 56.24 sqm
Total floor area: 112.48 sqm
(1F: 56.24 sqm 2F: 56.24 sqm)
Completion: June 2012
Design period: April 2011 – January 2011
Construction period: February 2011 – June 2012
Structure: RC structure
Client: a couple and children
Project architect: Makoto Tanijiri [Suppose Design Office] + Ohno Hirohumi [Ohno JAPAN]
Lighting: Original
Products: dining table
Flooring: 1F – masa soil, 2F – elm flooring + WAX (mat)
Internal Wall: exposed concrete
Ceiling: exposed concrete
Construction: Shinkou Kensetsu

via Dezeen