Lonely Planet Writer

Has Norway just unveiled the most beautiful public toilet the world has ever seen?

Anyone that has ever taken a road trip knows that one of the less glamorous sides to the whole experience is making use of public restrooms along the way. But it seems Norway are seriously stepping up their game when it comes to offering services to travellers passing through, having recently unveiled what just may be the most beautiful public rest areas in the world.

The Ureddplassen public rest area.
The Ureddplassen public rest area. Image by Steinar Skaar / Statens vegvesen. Architect of the building: Haugen / Zohar Architects. Landscape Architect: Inge Dahlman / Asplan Viak AS

Located at Gildeskål, along the Norwegian Scenic Route Helgelandskysten, a popular spot for both tourists and locals alike, Ureddplassen features a stunning wave-shaped toilet facility made from poured concrete, as well as a viewing terrace facing the open sea. Now open to the public, the rest area has already been hailed as a prime spot to watch the Northern Lights in the winter and the setting sun in the summer. Views on offer include the fjord, as well as the mountain summits towards the north.

The rest area provides stunning views of the fjord and the mountains in the region.
The rest area provides stunning views of the fjord and the mountains in the region. Image by Steinar Skaar / Statens vegvesen

The site also includes a brand new carpark and an amphitheatre with a set of wide steps leading down to a beach area. The view from the steps is unique, with ample seating that is well protected from traffic noise. The area has been completely redesigned to satisfy the Scenic Route project requirements of architectural quality as well as services to the public. The site also contains the existing war memorial for the submarine “Uredd”, which gave it its unique identity and name Ureddplassen, which in Norwegian means a fearless place, and the monument has been re-established on the terrace with a brand new marble plinth.

The restroom is made from poured concrete and glows warmly in the evening time. Image by Steinar Skaar / Statens vegvesen. Architect of the building: Haugen / Zohar Architects. Landscape Architect: Inge Dahlman / Asplan Viak AS

The opening is part of an ongoing plan that will see five new rest areas with service buildings being created along Norwegian Scenic Routes Ryfylke, Hardangervidda, Helgelandskysten, Andøya and Lofoten.