A universally designed sauna on the Telemark canal inspired by folklore and local traditions.
Cities and towns
UNESCO global geoparks
Trees / Forest
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.
Schønherr Landscape Architects
10,000 a year
Telemark Canal Regional Park, Tokke municipality, Dalen Hotel
Architect: Feste Landskap / Arkitektur. Landscape architect: Landskapsfabrikken.
Maria Klyvare. Lighting design: ÅF Lighting, now Light Bureau