The Norwegian Wild Reindeer Pavilion, Tverrfjellhytta

The Norwegian Wild Reindeer Centre Pavilion is located at Hjerkinn on the outskirts of Dovrefjell National Park, overlooking the Snøhetta mountain massif.

The building is open to the public and serves as an observation pavilion for the Wild Reindeer Foundation’s educational programmes. A one-and-a-half kilometre path brings visitors to the spectacular site, which is 1,220 metres above sea level.
The Dovrefjell mountain range forms the barrier between northern and southern Norway. It is home to Europe’s last wild reindeer herds and is the natural habitat for many rare plants and animals. In addition to the natural and cultural landscape, the Dovre Mountains also holds significant importance in the Norwegian consciousness: national legends, myths, poetry (Ibsen), and music (Grieg) celebrate the mystic and eternal qualities of this powerful place. The founding fathers of the Norwegian constitution are ”agreed and faithful, until the fall of Dovre!

This unique 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 wooden 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. The rectangular frame is made in raw steel resembling the iron found in the local bedrock. The contrast of the soft organic digital core and archetypical analogue steel box is intended to generate both a feeling of being in a capsule, safe, and the feeling of being part of the landscape, exposed.
Advanced technologies were utilised both in the design and the manufacturing process. Using digital 3D-models to drive the milling machines, shipbuilders in Hardangerfjord created the organic shape from ten-inch-square pine timber beams. The wood was then assembled in a traditional way using only wood pegs as fasteners.