These ethereal shelters are part of a winning proposal for a magical new gateway to the Sjunkhatten National Park in northern Norway. Designed by Eriksen Skajaa Architects in collaboration with Pushak and Bjørbekk & Lindheim Landscape Architects, the project will create three new gateways for the park featuring modular shelters made from wood and canvas. Inspired by the native Sami people, their shelters and their language, the gateways are called "Saivu", which is the Sami word for a portal to another world. The park places a strong focus on children and this winning proposal was chosen in part because it has a mystical aesthetic that will help enrich children’s experience of nature.
Sjunkhatten National Park is located in northern Norway on the coast near Bodø – a region known for its glacier-formed landscape, caves, water systems, and the cultural heritage of the Sami people. Eriksen Skajaa Architects wanted to draw on the culture of the native people for their proposal, so they chose to name it after the Sami word ‘saivu”, which means “portal to a mythical parallel world.” The three different gateways are designed to evoke a sense of transition that carries visitors into an entirely different world.
The modular shelters are built using a construction system based on an interpretation of the old Sami signs and symbols. The different connectors allow for variations in size and shape to help meet the needs of the different sites. Built from wood poles and canvas covers, the shelters are reminiscent of the tent-based nomad settlements of the Sami people.
The new gateway project will consist of three separate entrance areas, each with information boards, toilets, campfire places, seating, playgrounds, parking, toilets, and other support programs. The plans also includes provisions for shelters for sleeping and other activities, which can be added on to the separate sites. Large information signs will be created from gold-plated metal disks imprinted with information about the park. All of the elements are designed to be a bit mystical, ethereal and magical, lending the impression that visitors really have stepped into another world. As the park largely caters to children, this will further help set the mood and encourage exploration, activity and imagination.
Images ©Eriksen Skajaa Architects and Wikimedia