You trekked to the top of this four-thousand-foot-high snowy plateau and all you found was a rusty box. But appearances can be deceiving. For inside this thousand-square-foot pavilion you’ll discover a group of impassioned naturalists devoted to safeguarding a four-hundred-pound lichen-munching nomadic creature.
The oxidized look of the structure’s steel shell is a nod to the iron ore once extracted in this repurposed mining camp. The interior’s rough-hewn pine beams were milled, using 3-D models, to suggest flowing contours caused by water and ice erosion. While the backside before you is open to the elements, the northern facade is glassed in.
In the distance looms a massif whose main peak lent its name—a compound of the local words for snow and hood—to a native architectural firm. Just a quick detour off one of eighteen stops on a national scenic route, the range is so deeply embedded in the local psyche that it’s been praised not only by a famous romantic composer and a realistic playwright but in the constitution as well. You know the region, however, for its Olympic Games.
When you retrace the trail up here for a lecture in the spring, buttercups and mountain poppies will cover the hills in color, and falcons and golden eagles will be soaring overhead. With bovids bellowing happily in the plain below, for once it’ll be okay to give in to the herd mentality.
*Site: Snøhetta, Dovre Mountain Range