Norwegian bridge | icon 054 | December 2007

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“It’s just a tiny little line,” says Code Arkitekter’s Marte Danbolt of the Oslo-based practice’s walkway, which runs alongside a large mountain range on the coast of Senja, an island in the far north of Norway.

The 55m-long structure begins at a car park, also designed by Code Arkitekter, and makes its way over mossy rocks and streams to reach a small concrete barbecue area. Made of untreated larch, its meandering, jagged form is a response to the practice’s own experience of walking down to the sea. “We started thinking about the way you move over the rocks when you are walking towards the water,” says Danbolt. “We didn’t want to cut into the natural inflections and so we slowly adapted to the way you move over them in the design.”

The walkway and barbecue area are designed specifically for summer – Senja is an inhospitable place over winter months. The use of untreated wood is a nod to the tough wooden frames used by the area’s fishermen to hang up cod
to dry.

The project is part of the National Tourist Route funded by the government – a scheme that began in 2001 with the aim of giving young, talented architects a chance to build bridges and rest stops in previously inaccessible but beautiful parts of the Norwegian countryside. In the past six years over 140 architects – mostly start-up practices – have been invited to take part. The new structures now provide tourists in wheelchairs access to the fjords and the spectacular views of the mountain ranges.

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