Constructed on the outskirts of Dovrefjell National Park, the Norvegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavillion designed by architects at Snøhetta is used as an education centre by charity the Wild Reindeer Foundation. A rectangular steel frame contains the pavilion and a glazed wall lines the observation area. Norwegian ship-builders constructed the curved timber centre from pine beams, which were milled using digital models and then pegged together.
The Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion is located at Hjerkinn on the outskirts of Dovrefjell National Park, overlooking the Snøhetta mountain massif. The 90m2 building is open to the public and serves as an observation pavilion for the Wild Reindeer Foundation educational programmes. A 1,5km nature path brings visitors to this spectacular site, 1200 meters above sea level.
This unique natural, cultural and mythical landscape has formed the basis of the architectural idea. The building design is based on a rigid outer shell and an organic inner core. The south facing exterior wall and the interior create a protected and warm gathering place, while still preserving the visitor’s view of the spectacular panorama.
Considerable emphasis is put on the quality and durability of the materials to withstand the harsh climate. The rectangular frame is made in raw steel resembling the iron found in the local bedrock. The simple form and use of natural materials reference local building traditions. However, advanced technologies have been utilized both in the design and the fabrication process. Using digital 3D-models to drive the milling machines, Norwegian shipbuilders in Hardangerfjord created the organic shape from 10 inch square pine timber beams. The wood was then assembled in a traditional way using only wood pegs as fasteners. The exterior wall has been treated with pine tar while the interior wood has been oiled. The pavilion is a robust yet nuanced building that gives visitors an opportunity to reflect and contemplate this vast and rich landscape.
Image © Klaas Van Ommeren