Lillefjord Rest Area Footbridge

As rest areas go, especially here in the U.S., they are generally unsurprising, uninviting and undeniably uninspiring.

Then there is the Lillefjord Rest Area Footbridge.  Built in Lillefjord, Finnmark, Norway and designed by Pushak Architects, this little project came to fruition because of a client willing to put some trust in the hands of a visionary architect.
The Norwegian Road Administration’s The National Tourist Road Project, had need of a new rest area.  The program was simple: benches, toilet, waste bin and a wind shed.  The architect took this simple program and poetically designed a bridge structure which incorporated all of these required elements but also added a gestural axis shift, using the bridge as a subtle “sign”, pointing pedestrians toward the intended trail beyond the site. By placing the required program elements in the bridge itself, the object of the bridge became more distinct, yet less obtrusive in the grand landscape it inhabits.

European countries continually think outside the box when it comes to design.  This is, yet, another example of a banal project, such as a rest area, manifesting itself into a GREAT project, with a little inspiration from an architect seeing an opportunity to think outside the box.