Soria Moria

Photo Credit Icon Dag Jensen

Soria Moria

  • Icon for facilities Facilities
  • Icon for baths Baths

A universally designed sauna on the Telemark canal inspired by folklore and local traditions.

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    Cities and towns

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    National parks

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    UNESCO sites

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    UNESCO global geoparks

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    Main roads

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    Cruise ports

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  • infrastructure


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    Walking path

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    Trees / Forest

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Norway map illustration.Norway map, detail illustration.Soria Moria illustration.

Rediscovering the tales of a waterway

The Telemark Canal is an important, historic attraction in the region and has been a central route for transporting people, timber, goods and livestock. Today, it’s mainly used for leisure boats and recreation. However, visiting numbers have declined in recent years due to rising competition with other destinations. Tourists, as well as locals needed reminding of what the canal and its breath-taking surrounding landscape have to offer. The Telemark Canal Regional Park therefore wished to facilitate a re-discovery through the use of architecture, art and lighting design in a large-scale tourism and attraction project called “The Tales of a Waterway”.

Local traditions in a modern costume

Soria Moria is one of six projects along the canal and the result of an interdisciplinary process in which a Nordic team of architects, landscape architects, a lighting designer and an artist collaborated with the park and local municipality to create a new landmark. It includes a sauna, changing rooms and a covered viewing bench and is located on stilts appearing to float on lake Bandak. In Norwegian folktales, the distant castle Soria Moria shines in the sun as a symbol of our search for hope for the future and personal happiness. The Soria Moria sauna is a work of art sparkling like a jewel on the lake. The building's characteristic silhouette is an interpretation of the steep and surrounding mountain sides. The project is a fusion of architecture, landscape, folklore, local building traditions and cultural heritage that has resulted in an inclusive and sustainable design inviting everyone to meet on the same terms for personal health and well-being.

The project has been awarded the DOGA Award for Design and Architecture and attracted both local and international attention.

Key facts

  • Location

    Dalen, Telemark

  • GPS points

    59.44299962617834, 8.017465840834584

  • Designer

    Schønherr Landscape Architects

  • Protection framework

  • Estimated number of visitors

    10,000 a year

  • High season

  • Low season

  • Project owner

    Telemark Canal Regional Park, Tokke municipality, Dalen Hotel

  • Designer

    Architect: Feste Landskap / Arkitektur. Landscape architect: Landskapsfabrikken.

  • Artist

    Maria Klyvare. Lighting design: ÅF Lighting, now Light Bureau

  • Year(s) built


  • Materials

  • Grants