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Rafmognud Nattura / Marcos Zotes

  • Architects: Marcos Zotes
  • Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
  • In Collaboration With: Chris Jordan, Thessia Machado, NoaYounse, Andrea Dart, Steven Tsai, Coco Karol, AzmiMertErdem and Raghul Sridharan.
  • Concept And Art Direction: Marcos Zotes
  • Technical Direction: Chris Jordan 
Artists: Marcos Zotes, Chris Jordan, Thessia Machado, Noa Younse, Andrea Dart, Steven T sai
  • Project Management: Marcos Zotes, Gerður Sveinsdóttir
  • Choreography and Dance Performance: Coco Karol
  • Video graphy: AzmiMert Erdem
  • Special Effects: Raghul Sridharan
  • Music: For a Minor Reflection
  • Project Title: “Rafmögnuð Náttúra”
  • Photographs: Hallgrimur P Helgasson, Ragnar Th Sigurðsson, Kristjan Söebeck, Pétur Már Gunnarsson, Björn Lúdviksson, Jón Óskar Hauksson, Enki, Roman Gerasymenko

© Ragnar Th Sigurðsson © Kristjan Söebeck © Pétur Már Gunnarsson © Björn Lúdviksson

From the architect. New York-based architect and artist Marcos Zotes, together with his multidisciplinary team of collaborators, transformed the largest church in Iceland, Hallgrímskirkja Church, into a spectacular and interactive light installation titled “RAFMÖGNUÐ NÁTTÚRA”. More images and architect's description after the break.

© Ragnar Th Sigurðsson
© Ragnar Th Sigurðsson

“Rafmögnuð Náttúra” is a temporary and site-specific light installation that animates the facade of Icelands Hallgrímskirkja Church with a large 3d video-mapping projection. Taking inspiration from the natural conditions of Iceland and the churchʼs unique architecture, Marcos Zotes and his collaborator Chris Jordan transformed the static condition of this iconic landmark into a dynamic, engaging and interactive visual experience. Zotes intention was to intervene in the city by socially activating the churchs surrounding public space.

© Kristjan Söebeck
© Kristjan Söebeck

Marcos Zotes explains: “Since my teenage years as a skateboarder and graffiti artist, I have always been fascinated with exploring new ways to interact with the existing urban environment. As cities are increasingly becoming more socially restrictive and exclusionary, there is an urgent need for finding new tactics to reclaim their public spaces and urban structures in order to challenge the limited and outdated uses for which they were originally intended.

With “Rafmögnuð Náttúra”, I wanted to subvert the static and symbolic condition of Hallgrímskirkja church and temporarily turn it into a dynamic and interactive social experience. The idea is to make people confront their everyday urban environment with a critical aptitude towards its potential uses.” Marcos Zotesʼ “Rafmögnuð Náttúra” was selected as the winner competition entry for the Reykjavik Winter Lights Festival 2012 opening act, which was organized by Höfuðborgarstofa, Orkusalan and the Iceland Design Centre.

With only three weeks to deliver his winning light installation, Marcos Zotes gathered a team of artists and designers in New York to collaborate with him in its creation. Marcosʼ collaborators included Chris Jordan, Thessia Machado, Andrea Dart, Noa Younse, Steven Tsai, Coco Karol, AzmiMert Erdem, Raghul Sridharan and Icelandic band For a Minor Reflection.

© Pétur Már Gunnarsson
© Pétur Már Gunnarsson

The collaboration of different media artists and a strong attitude towards a multidisciplinary approach to their artwork formed the central core for the success of “Rafmögnuð Náttúra”. The project provided a unique opportunity for exploring new collaborative processes for creative production, in which a team of architects, designers, visual artists, musicians, dance performers and video artists were brought together to share their particular tools, art techniques, and design methods towards a unified vision.


“As an architect and artist, I see the traditional modes of operation in the field of architecture as very limited in regards to the current economic, social, and political global conditions. It is in the blurring of boundaries between different fields and the sharing of knowledge that we can find new opportunities for creativity and innovation”, says Marcos.

© Jón Óskar Hauksson
© Jón Óskar Hauksson
Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite:"Rafmognud Nattura / Marcos Zotes" 17 Apr 2012. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>