Viewpoint of the Fjords

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VOF1159

VOF - 1159
Faculdade de Arquitectura da Universidade do Porto / pt Portugal
1 members
Pedro Conde

Project type:
Turística

Nordic Dive-In

When first confronted with the vast beauty of the Nordic landscape, there’s an almost immediate impulse to thrust oneself into it. Such impulse, perhaps originated by the sensual qualities of the natural forms and the monumentality of scale, stems from a sublime state of mind, somewhere between fear and infatuation. This feeling and this impulse to “dive” into the landscape was one of the two main driving forces of this proposal’s approach, being the other one a preoccupation with iconicism in a site with such iconic qualities to begin with.

The formal approach to design was, therefore, guided by these two principles, in an attempt to reconcile them: on one hand, purifying the observer’s relationship with the landscape by eliminating all material constraints or visual clutter; and on the other, establishing an iconic landmark whose scale allows for a clear reading from afar, while still retaining a great level of respect for its surroundings. This was achieved through the formalization of what can only be conceived as a “sculptural diving board”, sitting atop the mountain in white concrete, at the end of which rests a net, held together by a circular frame and steel cables that hang onto the concrete structure, where one can effectively “dive into the landscape” and thus establish a more intimate and liberated relationship with it. Be it the falling waters of the Seven Sisters across the river, the Fjords themselves sprawling below, or the spectacular aurora borialis dancing above in the clear night sky - a full 360 degrees view is guaranteed at all times.

With sustainability in mind, the program itself was reduced to a minimum: an information point inside the stone cladded volume (the only climatized space); and a restroom in the basement level directly below. The remaining concrete volume simply rests on the ground without great material disturbance, and the net balances freely over the mountains.

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