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Norway turns toilets into tourist attraction

Staff Writer |
Visitors to Norway's Skjervsfossen waterfall can watch the Storelvi river rush by through a glazed floor panel in the restrooms of this service building, which is clad in local stone to accentuate its connection with the surrounding landscape.

Bergen-based architecture studio Fortunen designed the small service building containing two restrooms and a technical room at the site of the waterfall in Norway's Granvin region.

The building is positioned next to a car park on the bank of the river, just downstream from where the waterfall plummets through a narrow channel from the semi-agricultural plateau above.

Skjervsfossen is situated on one of Norway's popular Scenic Routes, which have attracted significant architectural commissions including a mining museum on stilts by Peter Zumthor, and Reiulf Ramstad's visitor centre and path network that zigzags across a rugged mountain landscape.

The Norwegian Public Roads Administration and National Tourist Routes in Norway tasked Fortunen with creating a subtle intervention that complements its rugged riverside site and makes the most of views towards the adjacent cliffs and valley.

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