Concrete for the senses

Gorgnetak Norge, Varangerfjord, Beton, Kodak Ektar, Leica Elmarit 2.8 28 asph. | ©

On our several-month tour through Norway we encounter the most innovative rest areas in the loneliest areas. The come everything else as one imagines the architecture in Norway touristic romantic transfigured. In the far north of Norway, we stopped at a stop at the service area Gorgnetak on concrete, on exposed concrete.

Kodak Ektar and the concrete: Rest area Gorgnetak (Gornitak) at the Varangerfjord – that catches the eye

Gorgnetak Norge, Varangerfjord, Beton, Kodak Ektar, Leica Elmarit 2.8 28 asph. | ©

Gorgnetak Norge, Varangerfjord, Beton, Kodak Ektar, Leica Elmarit 2.8 28 asph. | ©

We are in Norway on the road and portrait u.a. with the Kodak Ektar in addition to the diverse landscape and the equally extraordinary architecture. In Norway, for some years now, architecture has been deliberately used to lure tourists into the isolated areas that travelers rarely approach. Now there was a stone building on the Varangerfjord landscape route here in Gornetak (Sami) or Gornitak (Norwegian) with a very unpleasant epoch. It served the German occupation during the Second World War as ammunition depot.

The Statens Vegvesen Norway, however, now planned a rest area with an advertised landscape route along the Varangerfjord, which in its architecture should become ambassador of this region.

Concrete – it depends on what you make of it

It was once the advertising slogan of the concrete industry: “Concrete: it depends on what you make of it”. And at the same time, it has always been and is an invitation to creative architects to deal with this not-quite-controversial material and to use it beyond its normal constructive capabilities.

Why hide something that you need to build anyway.

So what does a good rest area need? A toilet, benches and tables, information, wind protection, accessibility and appropriate size. In addition, a rest area must be robust and easy to maintain. But above all inviting. A rest area may like to fit into the landscape.

The war architecture of Mr. Hitler and his willing ones was only too happy to be concrete. The architect, who was now given the task of designing a rest area, thought to make something good out of a soul-dead, repulsive and cold architecture. So it depends on what you make of it.

And so the architect Margrete B. Friis created a long open-plan building with columnar rooms for the toilet areas and concrete furniture, which in turn takes up the shape of the building. The furniture is accentuated with thick and massive wooden blocks, sometimes as a bench, sometimes as a table top.

Similarly, in the support columns disposal, water and electricity connections are integrated.

From the color of the concrete

Gorgnetak Norge, Varangerfjord, Beton, Kodak Ektar, Leica Elmarit 2.8 28 asph.

Gorgnetak Norge, Varangerfjord, Beton, Kodak Ektar, Leica Elmarit 2.8 28 asph. | ©

I’ve been thinking over and over again how to photographically capture the resting places along the most beautiful, but also remote, landscape routes in Norway. It is not without reason that I have generally opted for the Norwegians tour mainly for the analogue Kodak Ektar, which is known for its powerful color reproduction, but without overdoing it. Especially with landscape photographers the Kodak Ektar is very popular.

But the Kodak Ektar also has another advantage: even in gray and diffuse weather, the Kodak Ektar provides clear contrasts and a warm-toned appearance.

Concrete itself is basically gray once, but concrete also has its own pattern, which is shaped individually by the shuttering, the casting process and the compression. In addition, the optical surface changes over time due to the effects of weather.

With its high resolution and harmonious sharpness, the Kodak Ektar professional film is able to capture the subtle and diverse structures of concrete on film. Just as clean, it shows its high dynamic range and forms.

All in all, the pictures taken with the Kodak Ektar mirror the mood of the concrete architecture of the Gornitek rest area, just as we felt it.

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