architect: Haga & Grov
The mighty Svandalsfossen waterfall lies on the National Route between Sauda and Ropeid, northwest of Saudafjord, at the innermost, northernmost head of the vast Ryfylke fjord system.
The adjoining vista points and viewing platforms have been designed based on the winning entry to an invitational architectural competition held in June 2001. The underpass provides a safe, split-level crossing beneath the National Route, which has been redesigned and expanded to the northeast to accommodate parking and vantage points for north-bound traffic. Extensive footpaths lead from this northern platform, via steps, to another platform below the large concrete bridge. Visitors can get really close to the water here – either following the path down steps to the fjord, or taking the underpass to explore the old stone arch bridge, then continuing south to more parking space and the south-bound access ramp. Roadside paths offer a quick, impressive view of the powerful falls and rock face. For travellers with more time, steel steps lead either down to the Fjord, or ascend to the Upper Falls. The upper sections feature a newly prepared footpath with stone steps, from which excellent views of the fall complex and fjord as far as Sauda may be enjoyed. A small, steel bridge across a sidearm of the falls leads to the upper section. The new elements are rendered in concrete or Corten weathering steel.