Peter Zumthor completes buildings for Norwegian tourist trail

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Peter Zumthor creates buildings on stilts for tourist trail at a Norwegian mine

Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has built visitor facilities at a historic mine in Norway, with one structure that hangs off a wall and two that are raised on stilts over a steep cliffside (+ slideshow).

Allmannajuvet tourist route pavilion in Norway by Peter Zumthor. Photograph by Per Berntsen
Peter Zumthor has created three buildings at the old Allmannajuvet zinc mines. Photograph by Per Berntsen

Zumthor has created three buildings at the old Allmannajuvet zinc mines in Sauda, which were in use for just 18 years at the end of the 19th century.

They include a cafe, a service building and a museum dedicated to mining history.

Allmannajuvet tourist route pavilion in Norway by Peter Zumthor. Photograph by Jan Andresen
The museum is raised up over the craggy landscape on a grid of timber supports. Photograph by Jan Andresen

The cafe and museum are raised up over the craggy landscape on a grid of timber supports, while the service building – containing toilets and parking facilities – is perched on the side of a stone wall.

Allmannajuvet tourist route pavilion in Norway by Peter Zumthor. Photograph by Per Ritzler
This building contains an exhibition dedicated to mining history. Photograph by Per Ritzler

All of these structures are made up of three main elements: a simple black box, an encasing support structure made from wood, and a corrugated zinc roof canopy.

A fourth building was also constructed as part of the complex, in a slightly different style to the other three. It marks the entrance into the mine for tourists.

The complex officially open to the public in September 2016.

Allmannajuvet tourist route pavilion in Norway by Peter Zumthor. Photograph by Lars Grimsby
The service building is perched on the side of a stone wall. Photograph by Lars Grimsby

The Allmannajuvet mines were in operation from 1882 to 1898, during which time they produced over 12,000 tonnes of zinc ore.

The changing price of zinc forced them to close, as this form of extraction become less financially viable.

Zumthor wanted his buildings to reference "the drudgery" of the mining operation, and the "strenuous everyday lives" of the workers. Each one offers a different perspective of the remote landscape.

Allmannajuvet tourist route pavilion in Norway by Peter Zumthor. Photograph by Arne Espeland
There is also a cafe, built in a similar fashion to the museum. Photograph by Arne Espeland

The Allmannajuvet gorge forms part of the Ryfylke National Tourist Route, one of 18 designated tourist trails that wind through the fjords, islands, cliffs and boulder fields of Norway's wildest landscapes.

Høse Bridge by Rintala Eggertsson Architects
The Allmannajuvet gorge forms part of the Ryfylke National Tourist Route, and also includes a Corten steel bridge by Rintala Eggertsson Architects

Spanning 183 kilometres, the Ryfylke route extends from just outside Stavenger to the village of Røldal.

It also includes a Corten steel bridge by Rintala Eggertsson Architects and a ferry terminal by Jensen & Skodvin Arkitektkontor.

dezeen_Steilneset-Memorial-by-Peter-Zumthor-and-Louise-Bourgeois_1top
Zumthor previously worked with artist Louise Bourgeois to create the Steilneset Memorial, which is located along another of the Norwegian National Tourist Routes

This isn't the first project Zumthor has worked on for the National Tourist Routes.

A few years ago, he worked with artist Louise Bourgeois to create the Steilneset Memorial, commemorating suspected witches who were burned at the stake.

Other architects who have contributed to the routes include Todd Saunders and Reiulf Ramstad Architects, who both created vertiginous viewing platforms, and Snøhetta, whose projects include a roadside rest stop and a sinuous hotel.

Allmannajuvet tourist route pavilion in Norway by Peter Zumthor.
Site plan – click for larger image