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  7. Fast Food Restaurant - KFC / PK Arkitektar

Fast Food Restaurant - KFC / PK Arkitektar

  • 01:00 - 2 September, 2009
Fast Food Restaurant - KFC / PK Arkitektar
Fast Food Restaurant - KFC / PK Arkitektar

Fast Food Restaurant - KFC / PK Arkitektar Fast Food Restaurant - KFC / PK Arkitektar Fast Food Restaurant - KFC / PK Arkitektar Fast Food Restaurant - KFC / PK Arkitektar +13

  • Architects

  • Location

    Reykjanesbær, Iceland
  • Architects

    PK Arkitektar ehf
  • Design Team

    Pálmar Kristmundsson and Fernando de Mendonça
  • Consultants

    VSB Engineers
  • Client

    KFC Iceland
  • Area

    530.0 sqm
  • Project Year


From the architect. Fast food restaurants like Kentucky Fried Chicken are usually known for the standardized look. The architecture in these places seems to never take much consideration on the specific location and surroundings. In Keflavík the intention was to make a design that would brake with these aspects.

The building volume is a play with black boxes. The main body is a horizontal box lying on the pitch black pavement and two vertical ones who stretch up and out, catching both the customers in their cars on the ground and the skylight from above into the building. The outside is clad with semi matte black tiles sparingly cut out for vertical ribbons of windows, which underlines the cool and sophisticated appearance. The west end of the building is surprisingly sheer glass, which mirrors the big space and opens the building to the street and sea view.

The inside is kept in raw in-situ cast concrete which invites for some interesting play with sincere light, shadow and surface. The fine detailing and light fixtures designed by the architect are a dialog to the standardized menu billboards and brand furniture as they come in brightly coloured synthetic materials.

Location to be used only as a reference. It could indicate city/country but not exact address. Cite: "Fast Food Restaurant - KFC / PK Arkitektar" 02 Sep 2009. ArchDaily. Accessed . <>
Read comments


kevin · May 09, 2012

I said skyrim mozzerfugas

ariana roberts · March 13, 2011

nice...but kinda bland

Earl · January 07, 2011

for me, this design is not appropriate for a fast food restaurant and even the location you can see its little far from the city premises. The design seems to be unattractive to the costumers and the brand's signature look cannot be easily identified. I thought this is only good for warehouses or offices.

Priyanka · May 03, 2010

plz advice if any1 knows how to approach KFC franchieses

Philip · May 03, 2010 03:17 PM

"plz advice if any1 knows how to approach KFC franchieses"


jp · March 10, 2010


n-ICE · September 04, 2009


everett · September 04, 2009

it located in iceland!!!
so it is amazing, cause everything in iceland is amazing!!!

sheeeeep · September 04, 2009

it is so boringgggggg. looks like a factory outside, and the interior is just like any other kfc, but more boring.

alejandro · September 04, 2009

Interesting debate: ARCHITECTURE vs. BRANDING vs. what we expect of BRANDed SPACE.
Nevertheless above all (nice clean modern box with cool concrete details and Alucobond type facade) I wouldn’t like to eat there.
Perhaps I would have vodka drink or visit my dentist or solve some administrative problem in a government office but never eat.

mark · September 03, 2009

I would like to agree with quingtong.never seen a site get soooo dumped!!

pollex · September 03, 2009

KFC architecture :P

tommy · September 03, 2009

junk space

THOM · September 03, 2009


james · September 03, 2009

I dont understand the objection to posting this.

Its certainly interesting, but the language seems inappropriate. I think its abit heavy. It's one thing to consider site, but what about program? the economic or social connotations of the industry- a far more worthy study i think.

A much more successful example of fast food architecture is the mcdonalds by njiric + njiric.

VW · October 05, 2009 08:57 AM

I totally agree with James... Can't wait to see the new njiric site! (the guy slamming his computer was getting old.)

Coincidentally this project is also a retread via the chap at eye candy ( through AMNP... http://architecture.myninjaple...

hrvoje njiric · October 04, 2009 08:08 PM

thanks james for your comment on mcdonalds of sept. 02 ! check our new web site in november !

Sai · September 03, 2009

Good change from a tyiaclly 'loud' and attention seeking retail/ food retail design.
I like it. Question is, how did they get KFC to agree to the colour scheme that certainly do not speak of their logo?

laBOMBA · September 03, 2009

It's interesting to see that KFC is putting its branding aside to make architecture the predominant statement in this building. Architects can only applaud this! But it does have a surrealistic feel at the same time.
Good work of posting it Archdaily, it is sure worth discussing.

Mickey Mao · September 03, 2009 10:44 AM

I am also glad that AD has posted this project. Look at the debate it has generated!

brianbuchalski · September 03, 2009

I dig the KFC. Thanks for posting it Archdaily.

hi · September 03, 2009

there's a KFC in Los Angeles with an over the top design:
also, you spelled "break" wrong

VW · September 03, 2009

I'm okay with the building - I suppose...

What I'm wondering is why is ArchDaily sporting retreads? http://eyecandy-webcandy.blogs...

David Basulto [tricky] · September 03, 2009 03:08 AM

Dear VW,

I don´t read that blog.

David Basulto [tricky] · September 03, 2009

I don´t see why the parking is a problem.

Dan · September 04, 2009 01:01 AM

David, it was a response to n-ICE's comment that the building is trying to fit into the beautiful landscape. If this was the case, the architect could have made a better effort to fix the problem of paved parking lots and the damage they cause to the landscape.

Dan · September 03, 2009

so by making the building in style with the land, they chose to surround it with an enormous paved parking lot? Just because it is different from the typical fast-food restaurant doesn't mean that it is good.

Syl · September 03, 2009 08:22 PM

just because it is a fast-food rewstaurant doesn't mean it's bad. Why is simple, straightforward, subtle, clean and well detailed and executed architecture is so much often bashed?

n-ICE · September 02, 2009

the thing with this building that it's in Iceland, Iceland (not like most other countrys) is that Iceland is trying NOT to damage the beautifull nature that Iceland has. And so instead of having it in bright red colors, they have it in blackish stone color and all nature colors. Yes I agree it is a little "boring" on the inside but they didn't show you the kid section wich is ,without doubt, a more colorful place. They chose a beautifull landscape and made the building in style with the land. Plus, it's alot better looking then other fast-food restaurants.

p.s. sorry for all my spelling errors if there are any, I'm only Icelandic

cad · September 02, 2009

Where's the spinning bucket?

etty · September 02, 2009

only in iceland they build a kfc that looks as good as this.

Marcio N Coelho Jr · September 02, 2009

What is the problem with you people? Why should it be 'cheerful'? Why is it 'not appropriate'? What kind of 'critical view' is that?? Btw, it is located in Iceland, not in the US or Mexico. It is no doubt way better than the usual built fast food stuff. A beautiful building, with fine details and nice and well located openings to the views. What is really missing are photos from the dinning area with PEOPLE on it. Apparently, they didn't want to show the "brand furniture... in brightly coloured synthetic materials" in contrast with the sober building materials. It must be interesting, reflecting the opposing qualities of space and the food served in it. Why do architects tend to show their work as empty shells?

lester · September 02, 2009

I wouldn't mind living in that building (adapted to housing, and a bit smaller) at all.

As a fast food joint its a lot more interesting than those colorful shacks. In this case such taste does not go well with the food... =)

Roberto · September 02, 2009

It's a competent architecture. It's correct. It don't have to look like a comon restaurant to looks like a restaurant. I belive that the problem is mor the tipe of visual communication than the architecture.

Syl · September 03, 2009 08:17 PM

If people here on this site can't read a project predented without strong visual communication means, or are easily manipulated by these, than we have a problem.

This project have some strong qualities in my opinion, hence more subtle, wichh is harder to graphically express and to actually physically achieve in a build project.

alejandro · September 02, 2009

Although it has some nice details it´s a sad place to eat!
In Mexico must KFC are bright red with lots of architectural makeover gimmicks – it may be that they reflect the nations character perhaps in Iceland they find this building cheerful.

Euan · September 02, 2009

Looks like most come here looking for architectural porn. I guess that reflects an abandonment of the ordinary by designers which is a shame as it makes up the bulk of our environment. This is a fast food outlet superior to most and it's good to see ArchDaily including it. Warehouses, factories and business estates often seem to fly under the radar but we have to look at them as we drive along motorways/interstates. I'd rather see this than the usual banal efforts.

amflores · September 04, 2009 10:23 PM

Euan, you just nailed it. We´re accustomed to think of architecture looking for the next Parthenon and forget the banality of our regular surroundings. Working for a firm that specializes in commercial projects, I´ve done my couple of fast-food restaurants and know how restrictive are they on their image. I can do nothing but amaze at the results on this building and the risk taken. Can it be better? Sure, but to criticize it you should also be aware of the corporative environment in which is involved and applaud the result.

patentpolice · September 02, 2009

What's missing is a photo of the dinig area, it's odd why it's not included. The project should be about a better dining experience, so where is the dining room?

As for comments about this looking like an industrial warehouse, it's perfectly fitting for the food being served here. Read "Ominvoire's Dilemma" and you'll understand. With that, and after reading that book, I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable desiging a building for a fast food chain.

Peter · September 02, 2009

Dear David
I think is great to see this type of solution to get a short lesson on what not to do on a similar situation
this reminds me of the typical warehouse building in Long Island, NY..yes Long Island!
so for me the problem with this building is that is neither KFC or a restaurant but more of a re-designed ikea building

Dan · September 02, 2009

go to thearchitect's website and look at the museum of design and applied arts - mudesa. This is almost identical in style to the KFC. The style is fitting for the museum and is beautiful, but for a fast-food chain I feel that it is not appropriate.

David Basulto [tricky] · September 02, 2009

Dear readers,

Would you rather never know about this building? I think that is very interesting that fast food chains always try to "localize" something when entering other countries, this being a specific food or adapting to local architecture. Clearly, Iceland is a small, quiet and cold country, with its own codes. And in my opinion, you can´t build something that contrasts with this bucolic landscape.

Don´t close yourselves from what is happening, even if it´s something small or subtle.

We have very interesting projects from this office that we are processing for publication in the next days. Stay tuned ;)

Knok Knok · September 03, 2009 01:39 AM

Dear Basulto: I gotta say I’m a follower of AD publications. I appreciate the hard work AD puts on keeping us architects daily inform. But, as a professional advise keep your content in line, not out of it. To quick answer your awkward question: YES! I would rather never know about this building……WHY? There are far more interesting projects than this one, happening right now!!!, this is where AD should be focus, instead your suggesting we buy this counterfeit, which reminds me just because it looks, smells & taste like real chicken, means you’re actually eating chicken. Same as just because it looks, sounds & feels like “real architecture”, means you’re in presence of it. This delusion is very well achieved on today’s “branding architecture” which is no different than “KFC Box with Real Chicken Inside”.

P.S. on your comment “that fast food chains always try to “localize” something when entering other countries, this being a specific food or adapting to local architecture”
The only thing they might try hard to “localize” is the possible consumer, once this consumer enters the “chicken box” is like been at all KFC stores around the world at the same place an time, this “hyper-presence” is a “generic architecture side effect.” Variations within stores becomes calculated distinctions of the same thing, not intended pro-adaptation of a social, economic, urban localities.

rabbit · September 02, 2009

i completely agree with Dustin... why is there so much negativity towards this project. it's detailed quite well, better than many office buildings where i live. if anything, there should be more sophisticated work on this scale and economic level.

like Dustin said, most people care only about what they see and visit on a regular basis... they have no connection with amazing spaces and structures that they only see or visit once every five years or longer.

Dustin · September 02, 2009

I believe it is important for architects to become more involved in changing the everyday buildings around them. KFC, Mcdonalds, home depot, walmart, etc... all these places are what ordinary people think of as architecture, they are not interested in a new house in Japan or a Bridge in Norway or who Legorreta is, they care about the places they visit everyday, places that normally present a terribly commercial architecture. this project is refreshing as a concept. I think its great that the architects have ventured to destroy the standarized look of this building. Having said that though, what a horrible result. It does look more like the chiken lab than a place I would enjoy eating. I feel like the architects really wanted to make a museum or something and ended up with a KFC project and just kind of made the same building. It is a very Powerful statement, but an equally mediocre outcome.

Dan · September 02, 2009

I would prefer to see this as a big red, goofy looking chicken. It is a fast food restaurant, why must it try to look like a museum?

Leo · September 02, 2009 09:34 PM

check out the "Big Chicken" in Marietta, Georgia, USA

qingtong · September 02, 2009


john · September 02, 2009

...its finger lickin good.

Leo · September 02, 2009

in defense of, this building might not be attractive, but it is unusual for a KFC (or any fast food joint), and thus is worthy of a discussion...

ygogolak · September 02, 2009 06:23 PM

Yes, it is different, but in this case, surprisingly, different is not better.

Chan · September 02, 2009

Why this super-ordinary design can be here in Archdaily?

archilocus · September 02, 2009

The location and the architecture make it look like a warehouse. I know it's a fastfood restaurant and people eat s**t, but why do the architects think people also want to see some ?

mec1 · September 02, 2009

jeez must me a slow day at Arch Daily.
its a KFC!! FFS!!


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