FINAL PROJECT (B.A.) // 2012

As the final design project for B.A. degree (IAA 2012) we were given the task of designing a dwelling place for travellers who have undertaken the strenuous and challenging task of hiking across Iceland. The building
was to be situated on the tip of Reykjanes, as a beginning or end point of the journey.

The building was to service the basic needs of travellers (shop, info, wc, dining, dwelling) as well as house a special type of program, chosen by each student in accordance with their view of the journey´s requirements.
The project emphasis was therefore both connectivity to nature and embodiment of the traveller´s needs.

„The ultimate meaning of any building is
architecture; it directs our consciousness back to the world and towards our own sense of self and being. Significant architecture makes us experience ourselves as complete embodied and spiritual beings. In fact, this is the great function of all meaningful art.“

Juhani Pallasmaa, The Eyes of the Skin, pg.17


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Varða // A resting place on Reykjanestá

The building is a resting place for travellers who have hiked across Iceland. The design process was focused on the spiritual and physical journey of an individual going through such a long and demanding hike.
Step by step he finds the next cairn of his path and defeats obstacles while the journey forms a series of experiences that unlock new ways of thinking.

The building provides a suitable venue for the travellers to self-reflect.
Here they can rest, document and share their experiences. They can go through what they have achieved, part with their fellow travellers and the moments they have shared.

The shape of the building is derived from the idea that the traveller´s journey takes a physical shape in a walking path that gradually winds up and frames the building´s functions. The walking path is a strip that evolves into a wall and finally a roof, leading the individual through a
series of spaces that can be viewed as tiny landmarks. In this sense the building reflects the series of experiences and personal victories one has achieved.

The program unites the hikers and visitors who wish to catch a glimpse into their world. On the east side of the central strip you find general services and a venue for communications between groups, including an exhibition room. On the west side there are spaces exclusive to hikers to dwell in and share all their grains of experience. The end of the building connects to an outdoor space with a beautiful view that reminds the individual that he or she is a part of a much larger context and path.



// urban research project // scarcity and creativity in the built environment // scibe workshop // group project

The Úlfarsárdalur area has a current population of 259 people. The construction
process stopped when Iceland went into recession in the year
2008 and not much has happened there since.
The areas of Úlfarsárdalur and Grafarholt are separated heavily with
traffic veins, which have an even deeper effect of cutting the community
apart. This and the everlasting atmosphere of construction and halffinished
housing makes for an undesirable ghost-town.

Overlooking its situation, the area around Úlfarsfell does have great
potential. It is large, quite fertile and a river runs from nearby Hafravatn
through it, which offers strong connections to the greater area.
Sunlight hits the fertile grounds throughout the year and despite the
overhanging mountain the area stays relatively bright. Wind strikes primarily
from the East and provides great gliding conditions overhanging
from the mountain.
With the water, the mountain, available outdoor activities and the fertile
land we construct a scheme to improve the area for both its inhabitants
and visitors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The now empty and obsolete Bauhaus warehouse is at the center of our
transport scheme. People from outside the neighbourhood can park
their cars there and borrow bicycles, skates and skateboards, kayaks
and canoes to travel on into our Úlfarsárgarður recreational area. There
are plenty of activities within the area to attract people. Locals can slowcommute
to Bauhaus and from there take a bus or borrow a car, running
on methane of course. New paths are added to an existing network of
bicycle and hiking paths in the area and new connections made between
neighbourhoods and to the marketplace.

Our food network scheme is an enclosed eco-circle which wastes very
little and has a small carbon footprint. Farms cultivate their crops in
Úlfarsárdalur and around Úlfarsfell. Aquaponic cultivation, fish farming
and greenhouses are situated around Hafravatn where greenhouse fruits
and vegetables are grown. Produce is then transported along the river
and picked up at markets belonging to each neighbourhood. Food waste
is sent to a methane processing plant which fuels fast transportation
system. Compost from the production is then used as fertilizer and
fodder for the farms and the circle is complete.

Our proposal tackles the current neighbourhood situation from the bottom
up. We devised a plan to turn certain abandonded lots and buildings into
shared spaces. With this we hope to unify and encourage locals to carry
on the construction.

In a community center people get together to share tools and knowledge.
Another vacant building holds the communal kitchen. The children can
enjoy a small farming area and play around animals and grow vegetables
after school. Therefore, while constructing, people can assist each other
with daily cooking, taking care of children and building – make life easier.

Implementing these schemes forms a closely knit network where a society
encouraging a healthy and socially active lifestyle is formed.
We furthermore hope these efforts make the area attractive and desirable
to more people.


// a house in the cityscape // design inspired by an architect

My first semester at IAA I got the assignment to design a residential house
based on the vision and design of architect David Adjaye. We were given
a lot in the midst of houses from around 1930, in downtown Reykjavik.

In his design, Adjaye strives to combine a modernist viewpoint with each
project´s varying inspirations. This allows for an interesting mixture of
exterior and internal storytelling.

This house is designed for an artist couple from London who desired a
house to live and work in. Based on this I emphasized the flow of natural
light and correspondence of spaces so that there would be a big, open
and bright work space but at the same time a more private atmosphere in
the living area.
Adjaye himself has delt with similar projects and to counteract the possible
problems of living and working in the same place he kept the two areas
seperate and different in feel.

I accentuated the seperation of work and home life by programing the
first floor as a general workspace and area for visitors. Once up the
narrow and personal stairway you enter a smaller and more intimate
space meant for relaxation and dwelling. There you find the couple´s
bedroom, bathroom and a living room which can be closed off. The
formal language of the house rhymes with this seperation of spaces
because the shell of the house surrounds and encloses the smaller upper
floor, which seperates from the outer wall.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Adjaye´s unusual use of natural light was exemplified in this house in
the use of large simplistic windows and areas that reflect light and the
narrow use of traditional windows.
The house is a heavy and simple structure but above it lies the gravitydefying
roof, which is inspired by Adjaye´s use of light structures and
opposites. Like so many of his houses this one is closed to the outside
and doesn´t reveal much of its secrets to bypassers. His residential
houses can generally be described as extrovertly simple but complex and
thought-out on the inside. Like him, I strived to create a certain
experience and strong feeling inside my building.

From the street this house seems simple but once a person enters the
narrow passage its secrets are slowly revealed. The person can either go
into the private garden or enter the house through the nonchalant doors
and discover it´s inner secrets. This entry creates a strong spatial
experience which continues within the house itself. The opposites are as
follows: narrow-wide, open-restrained, bright-dark and heavy-light.


// digital work // aquaculture // organic housing

This was a 3 week course studying Autodesk Maya and its potential. In this
 project I began my design process by looking at and experimenting with
 organic forms by Ernst Haeckel and developing them into an architectural
 structure based on a certain system. This system was combined out of the
 basic elements of chosen Haeckel forms:

Light and hard skeleton
An object built outward not upward from a given base
Skin treatment
Opportunity for disfiguration


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

When you enter the building you enter a new world. A kind of an organic
creature in which people navigate both above and below sea level. It
contains underwater viewing ports, an area for diving access and a strong
connection to the sea in every aspect.

Aquaculture is the storage, surveillance and feeding of fish and other sea
animals. It also includes research for future resources and technology.
This is a subject close-knit to Icelandic culture.
I decided to position my house on the water so that the sea water could
be accessed and viewed from within the building. I think of this building
as a research and information center as well as an aquarium, providing
entertainment and education for families. Thereby linking the public to
the world of aquaculture – an attraction.