Design TeamPálmar Kristmundsson, Fernando de Mendonça, Dagni Wiest, María Stefánsdóttir, Sóley Brynjarsdóttir
ConsultantsConis Verkfræðiráðgjöf, Verkhönnun
Text description provided by the architects. This vacation house is located on the banks of the Hvita river, a two-hour drive East of Reykjavik. The site is a moss-covered hill with a view over a quiet bend in the glacier-formed river. In the spring, the river carries the icebergs from the glacier towards the sea some 100km away.
The approach to the vacation house is from the top of the hill. The building is organized as a sequence of events: from the entrance porch through the closed courtyard into the living space and out onto the terrace at the end.
Living, dining, kitchen, and master bedroom are all arranged in one continuous room. This enables panoramic views of the river and the distant mountains to the west.
The exterior is a broken surface of light grey fair-faced concrete. The gravel from the riverbed is blended into the concrete, and is revealed in the broken surface. It harmonizes the outside walls with the moss of the surrounding landscape.
Leftover moss from the footprint of the house covers the roof. It was kept aside and regularly nursed during the building process, before being reinstalled on the roof.
Doors and terraces are clad with teak boards that will gradually weather to a color grade to match the seasonal moss and the broken concrete surface. Fair-faced concrete walls through out the entire interior are matched with untreated teak boards on floors and ceilings.
Selected pebbles from the nearby riverbed cover the bottom of the infinity pool. The pool projects out in front of the terrace, and serves as a railing which otherwise would have interrupted the view of the river.