Okulus is walkway and architectural structure for contemporary art projects, designed by Rintala Eggertsson Architects for Harpefoss Art Arena.
Okulus, meaning “eye” in Latin, refers to act of looking and observation, in this case nature through art as a forest observatory. The idea is to create an arena with the walkway as a frame and art as a means to observe.
The location of Okulus is cut in between the Harpefoss Canyon, a geological site shaped by massive flooding only 10.000 years ago in the post-glacial period, and the railway through Gudbrandsdalen which opened in 1896, a major element of the so-called shapeshift from agricultural to modern Norwegian society.
The walkway is thus located in a formerly secluded forest near Harpefoss hotel, and is accessible only by walking a distance of 400 meters from the parking. The structure itself is accommodated and designed for the use of wheelchairs and for people with walking disabilities.
In a multiple sense, Okulus is created for the inclusion of a broader audience and understanding of art, nature and sensory experiences that is often regarded as uncommon or not available for all. The ambivalence and need to reflect upon our modern relation to nature, is what we hope that Okulus is likely to point attention towards.