Located by a river estuary in the inner part of a fjord, the installation at Trælvikosen offers the opportunity to walk into nature itself. Just north of the small Norwegian city of Brønnøysund, fifty-five stepping stones are placed in the water in a horizontal line, contrasting the soft shapes of nature. The installation is a fluid experience depending on the tidal level, following the effect of the gravitational forces and rhythm of nature itself. The trail of stones is only fully visible and possible to walk on at low tide. At high tide, the trail is completely gone.
Norwegian Public Roads Administration
Trælvikosen is developed for the Norwegian Public Roads Administration and the Norwegian Scenic Routes, a program with 18 selected roads that offer spectacular nature experiences combined with art, design, and architecture.
The roads run through landscapes with unique natural qualities, along coasts and fjords, mountains, and waterfalls, and are intended as alternatives to the main roads making lesser-known areas more available to the public.
Maintaining this focus on the experience of nature is a core of the project, which also includes a resting area, parking lot, and other facilities.
With a view towards the famous Torghatten mountain, the trail of stones is taking the visitor from a beach across the sandy sea bottom towards a small islet. The installation invites visitors to be immersed in nature, experiencing it, bringing awareness and attention to details.
The sea bottom of Trælvikosen contains beautiful natural elements. As the tide retracts and advances, new details are revealed, minute by minute, inch by inch. The small pyramids of the lugworm, traces of snails moving through the ground, stones in unique formats, and the river meandering in an ever-changing trajectory. The surroundings and experiences change all throughout the day.
Bringing the idea of the tidal installation to life required comprehensive testing and thorough research, among other things, for the foundation. It was tested for an entire year with four stones, resulting in the conclusion not to cast the foundation but to use crushed stone for stability. The tide itself gave the team some extra challenges while installing the stones, as there was only a four-hour window before the water took charge of the site.
As a landscape project, sustainability is inherent, and Trælvikosen is no exception. The project was meticulously planned to avoid unnecessary footprints or disturbances. Construction mats were used throughout the building phase so that machines could get in and out as gently as possible. All topsoil has been put back in place and already flourishes. The stepping stones themselves are locally sourced – carved and processed in Bodø before being transported by boat to the site.
To experience the Trælvikosen installation at its finest, we recommend visitors to check the tide table.
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