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Allmannajuvet is a tribute to the mining workers who toiled their way through the rock to extract zinc in the late 1800s. A series of structures consisting of a museum building, a café building, toilet and parking facilities, paths and stairs.

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Norway map illustration.Norway map detail, illustration.Allmannajuvet illustration.

Deserted buildings with rich history

The story of the mines begins in 1881 when a tenant farmer discovers zinc, iron and copper ore in the Allmannajuvet ravine. This kickstarted a major mining operation that in its heyday employed almost 200 people. Unfortunately, operations took a bad turn and in 1899, it was decided to close down the works entirely. The Allmannajuvet miners were left without work, and the buildings remained empty for as long as 40 years before they were sold in an auction.

Enactment of history through gestures of materials and simplicity

In 2002, the road to Allmannajuvet became part of Norway’s National Scenic Routes, and Swiss architect Peter Zumthor was commissioned to design a facility that would tell the story of the mines and make them more attractive and accessible to visitors.

Zumthor’s simplistic buildings are inspired by the mining operation, the hard work and everyday life of the miners. He describes them as a monument to the miners who lived and died there. The plain but spectacular buildings in the ravine have been designed in the tradition of industrial architecture and to blend in well with the landscape. They are meant to look as if they have been there forever: Built in the style and spirit of the mining industry.

Key facts

  • Location


  • GPS points

    59.6526803121682, 6.4645543966609855

  • Protection Framework

  • Estimated number of visitors

  • High season

  • Low season

  • Project Owner

  • Designer

    Peter Zumthor

  • Year of construction


  • Materials

    Creosote impregnated laminated wood, plywood sheets, natural stone from Hardanger

  • Grants