Rest Areas for the Weary: 13 Thoughtful Travel Facilities Enhance the Journey

Calder Woodburn Rest Area by BKK Architects

BKK Architects once again cites Australia’s rich history of service stations with the Calder Woodburn Rest Area, its floating roof echoing those of other structures historically seen in roadside facilities to create a strong visual association with pleasant memories of fun trips. “These places mark a point in a journey, a place for pausing, a place for reflection,” they explain. “The roof serves as both shelter and icon, signaling to the passerby while serving the practical function of sheltering the amenities below. Our project celebrates this imagery.”

Lillefjord Rest Area & Footbridge by Pushak

Architecture firm Pushak was charged with updating a rest area in Lillefjord, Norway that functions as a restroom facility, wind shelter and the start of a trail to a waterfall. Their solution integrates a sculptural wooden bridge into the small adjacent structure, providing passage over a creek and acting as a trail marker. “By placing all the program in the bridge, the road stop installation is now a distinct object placed in the landscape,” they say. “This felt appropriate for the rough and grand nature of the site, rather than small furniture placed around or in the ground.”

Flotane by L J B

Set on a rocky plateau at the top of Norway’s Aurlandsfjellet, ‘Flotane’ by L J B Architects is covered in snow eight months a year, but also acts as popular starting point for mountain hiking in the summer. The design had to reflect these two contrasting states. The sloping roof of the small toilet building controls the buildup of snow in cold weather and creates a shaded area in the back during the summer while also pointing solar panels embedded in the facade toward the sky. “The site plan explains the concept of a soft and inviting transition between parking and landscape, while the east side of the plaza is framed by a massive stone wall towards the road.”

Solberg Tower & Rest Area by Saunders Architecture

The flat green fields of Saprsborg in southern Norway have long been a popular stopover for tourists traveling north from Sweden. Saunders Architecture wanted to design a structure that would encourage visitors to slow down and investigate the surrounding nature of this forested coastal area. The stop includes seven small pavilions highlighting information about local rock carvings from the Bronze Age.

“The neighboring highway’s speed and noise only enhance the traveller’s need for a break and re-connection with nature, so a green resting space was on the top of the list. A low walled ramp spirals around the rest area, defining the 2000 sq m area’s limits, while spring-flowering fruit trees adorn the courtyard.”