Statens Vegvesen

In collaboration with:

Location: 5628 Herand, Hardanger, Hordaland, Norway


Building 17m2, platform 45m2





Project description:

Public toilet, Hereiane, Hardanger fjord.

Facility building at a resting area along the Hardanger Fjord

The rest stop Hereiane is part of the national tourist-route-project, which features roads with especially carachteristic view-points. In this case the road leads along the hillsides of the Hardanger fjord, on the westcoast of Norway. Beside the fjord-landscape the region is famous for it’s traditional architecture and hilly cherry- and apple gardens. Hereiane is located 20 minutes from Jondal on top of a big slope of massive rock, which leads all the way down to the water.

The use of slate for walls and roofing has a long tradition in the region. With the quarry situated only some 100 meters away, slate as a main component was a logical choice. Our approach was to play with the traditions hanging over the area and surprise with a material only used in 2 shapes over centuries. To balance the heavy-weight stone we added concrete as the 2nd constructional element.

The construction required a high level of craftsmanship and was a challenge even to the skilled local builders, who put their heart into the construction-work, transforming their scepticism into enthusiasm. The geometry of the building reflects the traditional sloped roof, but one wall in the floor-plan is slightly angled, creating a feeling that something is not quite right, when seen from the road.

The walls are constructed entirely from slate-blocks, lifted slightly off the ground. The cut side of the stone facing outwards generates a compact, smooth surface, which makes you want to touch the building. The inside surprises with rough split stone and slick yellow surfaces to form a contrast.

The roof is a composite of concrete and slate. The platform with it’s sitting element and the inner wall, dividing the 2 bathrooms, are made from concrete and coated with a bright yellow surface. The colour helps to balance the heaviness off the building, brightening up the site on rainy days and has become part of the buildings identity, widely discussed by locals.

Our intension was to create an emotional, and tangible building that makes people curious and a tiny bit happier.