KRADS Creates The Architecture Shaped Along With The Iceland Hill

Holiday home by Þingvallavatn designed by KRADS is carefully placed on a densely overgrown hill which is sloping north in the direction of the great Lake Þingvallavatn in southwestern Iceland. On multiple levels, the other-worldly landscape has modeled the form of the building.

In dialogue with the terrain, the concrete foundation of the wooden house lies in three staggered planes that follow the movement of the landscape. In a similar manner, the roof surface, overgrown with local grass and moss, slopes partly towards and partly with the hill. The location of the house has been chosen with great care to integrate the building into the surroundings while framing specially selected views of the landscape. Towards North, the house rises above the low scrub to give an unobstructed view over Þingvallavatn and the mountain Skjaldbreið from the main room of the house. In the opposite direction, the main room opens onto a southwest-facing terrace that is closely surrounded by trees. From here, the mountains Jórutindur and Hátindur can be seen at the same time as a view is established from the terrace, through the house, and out towards the lake. 

Apart from the terrace, the immediate surroundings of the building are so densely vegetated that they are close to impenetrable. Preserving the landscape as pristine as possible was a major intention in both the design process and during the construction of the house. In return, the greened roof is established as an accessible plane. Access to the roof can be gained from inside, from the house’s sleep- and play loft, or from the outside where the slope starts at the foot of the integrated boat shed. Following the ascend, standing at the top of the edge of the roof above the trees, the landscape opens up in a magnificent and ever-changing panorama towards the lake and the surrounding mountains. 

KRADS is an architectural studio based in Denmark and Iceland, led by architects Kristján Eggertsson and Kristján Örn Kjartansson. 


Project: Holiday home by Þingvallavatn, Iceland

Client: Tina Dickow and Helgi Hrafn Jónsson

Size: Main house: 145 m2, Boatshed: 26m2, plot: 1000 m2

Architect: KRADS

Engineer: Emil Þór Guðmundsson

Entrepreneur: Smíðandi ehf. / Gestur Þráinsson Interior carpentry and exterior detailing: Helgi Hrafn Jónsson, Jón Árni Þórisson, Christian Danielsen

Photo credits: Marino Thorlacius

Status: Completed 2020 

Visuals with courtesy of KRADS


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