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

On our several month tour through Norway we encounter the most innovative rest areas in the most lonely areas. They come from everything else than one imagines the architecture in Norway to be romanticized for tourists. In the far north of Norway, when we stop at the Gorgnetak service station, we come across concrete, exposed concrete.

We are on the road in Norway and, among other things, use the Kodak Ektar to portray the diverse landscape as well as the equally extraordinary architecture. In Norway, architecture has been consciously used for a number of years to lure tourists into lonely areas that travelers rarely approach. Now there was a stone building with a very ugly era on the Varangerfjord landscape route here in Gornetak (Sami) or Gornitak (Norwegian). It served the German occupation as an ammunition depot during the Second World War.

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

Concrete – it depends on what you make of it

It was once the advertising slogan of the concrete industry: “Concrete: it depends what you make of it” . And at the same time it was and is an invitation to creative architects to deal with this not entirely undisputed material and to use it beyond their normal constructive capabilities.

Why hide something that is needed for building 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. In addition, a rest area should like to fit into the landscape.

The war architecture of Herr Hitler and his willing was only too happy to be made of concrete. The architect, who was now given the task of designing a resting place, thought to create 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 an elongated, open 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 solid wooden blocks, sometimes as a bench, sometimes as a table top.

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

About the color of the concrete

I kept thinking about how to capture the rest areas along the most beautiful, but also remote, scenic routes in Norway. It was not without reason that I generally opted for the Norway tour, mainly for the analog Kodak Ektar, which is known for its strong color reproduction, but without exaggerating. The Kodak Ektar is particularly popular with landscape photographers.

The Kodak Ektar 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 at first, but concrete also has its very own pattern, which is individually shaped by the formwork, the pouring process and the compression. In addition, the optical surface changes over time due to the weather.

Due to its high resolution and harmonious sharpness, the professional film Kodak Ektar is able to capture the fine and different structures of the concrete on film. Just as neatly it shows its high dynamic scope and shows both the dark shadow areas and the light areas visibly.

Overall, the images taken with the Kodak Ektar accurately reflect the atmosphere of the concrete architecture of the Gorgnetak rest area as we felt it too.

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