Saturday, August 13, 2022

The Path of Perspectives

Last month Dezeen reported on a new landscape intervention by Snøhetta, a 'disappearing walkway' of 55 stepping stones on the Traelvikosen Scenic Route in Helgeland.

'Traelvikosen Scenic Route was commissioned by the Norwegian Public Roads Administration. It forms part of the Norwegian tourist routes, which is a series of experiences for road travellers. "Along carefully selected roads in Norway, natural wonders are amplified by art, design, and architecture, with emphasis on the unique landscape and qualities of the different locations," Kvamme Hartmann explained. ... "At Trælvikosen, we wanted to intentionally design the site to ensure visitors were enticed to stay longer than normal," she continued. "To truly experience the details, the time and nature itself, and hence also understand it better, as it offers an opportunity to observe the ever-changing rhythms of our nature."'

It's an interesting thought, that an already beautiful landscape needs some additional help from art to get people to stop and experience 'nature itself'. 



Last week I experienced a similar Snøhetta intervention on Nordkette, the mountain overlooking Innsbruck. This viewing platform was also reported on by Dezeen - see their article from 2019. I was expecting this to be something like the suspension walkway on Mt. Titlis in Switzerland, where in addition to getting views across the Alps, tourists are given the thrill of looking down from a vertiginous height over empty space. However the Snøhetta platform is built on a relatively gentle green slope so all you see below you is grass. Whether the corten steel design makes a photograph here especially Instagrammable I'm not sure - there were spectacular backdrops already all around this mountaintop. The metal walkway curves onto a trail circling the mountain, the Path of Perspectives, although everyone I saw on it had clambered down a more direct desire path from the cable car station. There are other Snøhetta structures dotted round this trail - benches and viewing platforms - and they have quotes on them in German and English. I see now from the Dezeen article these quotes are by Wittgenstein (this wasn't evident to me, but it was distractingly hot up there, so I probably missed the explanation!) According to Snøhetta, "the words invite visitors to take a moment and reflect, both inwardly and out over the landscape, giving a dual meaning to the path of perspectives."