Soria Moria Sauna

From the architect. A shingle-clad structure stands on the shore of the Bandak lake. Steep mountainsides delve into deep waters, creating a dramatic vista. A whisk of fog lies gently on the surface.

Soria Moria is a project developed by the Telemark canal regional park in collaboration with Tokke municipality. The project is part ofTales of the Waterway, an overall art project for the Telemark canal, where art, architecture and lighting design are utilised to highlight the inherent qualities of the local landscape and traditions.

The characteristic silhouette of the structure is an architectural interpretation of the steep mountainsides surrounding the Bandak lake. The wooden shingle cladding is inspired by local building techniques. Integrated in the cladding are gleaming golden shingles. The gold is a reference to local folklore; to the mythical and outlandish. It also references the obvious contrast which arose between the uncultivated people of Telemark and lavish upper-class foreign travellers during the establishment of the nearby Dalen Hotel at the end of the 19th Century. The structure contains a sauna, a changing room and a covered seating area for taking in the views.

With the exception of the Sigurdsevja inlet, the water along the shoreline of the upper end of the Bandak lake is very shallow. The project is therefore constructed on stilts along the inlet to allow for bathing in the lake. The Sigurdsevja inlet is a precise and characteristic landscape formation, and the design of the walkway and sauna building aims to emphasises this particular feature. The walkway becomes part of an existing network of footpaths along the lake, with connections to the nearby Dalen Hotel.

The design has been developed by a Nordic design team consisting of architect David Fjågesund (Feste Landscape / Architecture), landscape architect Inge Dahlman (Landskapsfabrikken), lighting designer Tobias Olsson (ÅF Lighting), artist Maira Änquist Klyvare and Design Team Leader Lars Haakanes (Feste Landscape / Architecture). The contractors Skorve built the project, using mainly local materials.

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