On Moskenesøya, an island at the southern end of Norway’s Lofoten archipelago, Oslo-based studio Manthey Kula has completed a roadside rest stop whose rust-red exterior sits strikingly against the landscape.
At certain times of year, the wild but beautiful landscape of Moskenesøya is buffeted by extreme winds. The ‘Akkarvikodden’ rest stop was designed to replace an older toilet facility that had been lifted from its base during one such gale. When designing the replacement, Manthey Kula’s primary objective was to develop a building robust enough to withstand such punishing winds. The architects determined to do this by counteracting such force with physical weight. Crafted from sheets of corten steel—a material designed to develop a rust-like appearance from exposure to weather—the building itself is simple and small. Welded together on site, the solid structure features two large glass openings that provide a view to the sky and reflect the horizon. Interestingly, the architects decided not to make views of the surrounding landscape a feature of the building. On an aesthetic level, their objective was far more conceptual. “The experience of the place, mountains and sea, and the ever-present coastal climate is very intense”, Kula noted in a statement about the project. “The restrooms were conceived to present a pause from the impressions of the surrounding nature, offering an experience of different sensuous qualities.”
“The restrooms were conceived to present a pause from the impressions of the surrounding nature, offering an experience of different sensuous qualities.”