Snøhetta may have opened up an office in New York to oversee big commissions like the Times Square redesign and the 9/11 visitors’ center. But its latest project–a humble pavilion overlooking Snøhetta mountain at Dovrefjell National Park–shows that the Norwegian architecture firm hasn’t abandoned its home turf.
Commissioned by the Wild Reindeer Foundation, the 800-square-foot building offers a warm place for school groups and visitors to gather and learn about the area’s history. Visitors can also take in the extraordinary views and the native wildlife; Dovrefjell is home to Europe’s last surviving herds of wild reindeer.
The architects took their cues from the pavilion’s surroundings, evoking organic forms, albeit using modern design technology. The richly colored, corklike interior is shaped like a rock that has been eroded over years by wind or running water to form a bench. (In point of fact, it was CNC-milled from 10-inch-thick layers of timber.) In response to the harsh climate, the architects designed an outer frame of raw steel, broken only by a floor-to-ceiling window to provide uninterrupted views.
The real trick is getting there: The box sits about 4,000 feet above sea level.