Scan Magazine, Issue 93, October 2016

Page 42

Scan Magazine  |  Special Theme  |  Nordic Architecture Special – Norway Langfoss Servicesenter.

Sauda Nye Folkets Hus (Sauda Community House).

Karmsund Panorama, 13 apartments by the seaside in Haugesund.

Summer house in Haugesund.

An architectural intermediary In between Norwegian mountains and the sublime Åkrafjord of Haugesund, OPUS Architects have adopted the significant task of creating an innovative picnic area by one of the world’s most beautiful waterfalls, Langfoss. By Ingvild Vetrhus | Photos: OPUS | ARCHITETCTS

“The greater the challenge, the larger the limitation, the richer the solution,” says CEO Atle Strønstad. He explains that what was initially viewed as major issues related to limitations of space on the project site, have ultimately become the core foundation of the geometrical entirety of the restoration of Langfoss’ outdated facilities. By converting the roof of the kiosk into a picnic area, the architects of OPUS aim to create an unforgettable scenic experience by providing a spectacular view. Authenticity and sustainability are enshrined through the use of local wood from a nearby sawmill, Langfoss-sagen. Focusing on personal mobility, the design of the picnic area is shaped and developed based on the growing demand for universal design, which has been integrated as a vital part of the architecture. By using ac42  |  Issue 93  |  October 2016

cessibility as design, everyone from wheelchair users to families with baby buggies can easily access all picnic facilities. “We think it is important that our architecture works as an intermediary between the public interest and the wishes and demands of our clients,” Strønstad explains. The architecture firm’s vision of social responsibility is also reflected in their new project, the historically valued Folkets Hus. Located in the industrial town of Sauda, the buildings of Folkets Hus were constructed in 1931 on initiative of the town’s working class. Dubbed ‘the stave church of the working class’ by famous political scientist Frank Aarebrot, the buildings have been an important meeting place for the town’s industrial workers through time. The importance of preserving the characteristic buildings is significant, and OPUS, together with

RATIO Architects, plans to extend the grounds with an additional construction to ensure future engagements and utility of the existing monuments. “We need modern facilities to meet future necessities,” says Strønstad. The expertise of OPUS’s dedicated architects ranges from working with buildings of cultural importance and hospital projects, to secondary schools, private cabins and homes, as well as large business parks for the oil and gas sector. The architecture firm is located in the heart of Haugesund, centrally placed between Bergen and Stavanger. Villa by the seaside in Haugesund.

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