By Light Bureau
Espenes rest stop offers a new scenic break where the architecture steps into the landscape with a stunning view of the fjord and the mountains.
We set out to create a visible landmark after dark in tune with the local landscape. Our lighting design is inspired by the location and the surrounding nature; the cool moonlight that illuminates the mountain tops and the nearby glacier in contrast to the warm, human light.
The entire construction is built in stainless steel and designed by Code Arkitektur as part of the Norwegian Scenic Routes attraction – a significant cultural project that unites architects, artists, designers, and craftsmen with a common goal of creating destinations across the country through architecture. Along the routes, architectural structures integrate and contrast with nature, challenge the minds of the observers, and attract visitors to remote destinations of Norway – subsequently boosting the local economy.
The roof and wall surfaces at Espenes rest stop are shaped by hand and welded together from 6mm thick steel plates. As lighting designers, we aimed to enhance this magnificent sculptural shape through light, darkness, and contrast in the color temperature.
The steel walls are kept free of equipment and all technical installations are cast into the concrete deck. The intensity of the light on the steel wall had to be experienced visually. Therefore, tests were crucial to ensure good detailing and to see the actual effects of light.
The architectural elements are illuminated by a subtle cool light, while the toilets and areas used by visitors are given a warm light. The lighting of the ceiling surface is asymmetrically designed to give two different visual impressions depending on the direction you look while the reflections in the steel create a playful expression in the light. The cool light of the outer walls is designed to contrast with the warm interior and enhance the construction’s visual expression.
The columns in cool light frame the view towards the toilet in warm light. The luminaires are discreetly molded into the deck and integrated into the doorframes. To achieve functional lighting in the toilets, each toilet room is equipped with a special bollard in steel and acrylic which acts as a floor lamp and provides a soft light in the room. They are produced by the metal workshop Størksen in collaboration with Stoane Lighting.
The light from the bollard balances with the light in the doorframe, which is made of steel and hardened glass. Both luminaires respond to an integrated sensor in the lock and the light intensity increases when the toilet is in use.