Iceland based practice, KRADS Architects has finished a holiday home, located close to the great Lake Þingvallavatn in southwestern Iceland.
Designed for a famous Danish–Icelandic singer-songwriter duo Tina Dickow and Helgi Jónsson, the architects wanted to blend the house with Nature through the use of natural material and green roof.
According to the architects, the clients being artists themselves, showed an understanding of the creative process and all its aspects. "This led to a journey that was characterised by an enthusiastic exchange of thoughts and ideas which were anchored in a common understanding of materiality and general expression. This created an atmosphere of mutual trust and openness between the architect and the client that one rarely experiences. We hope this feeling is conveyed in the finished house," added the architects.
In response to the lake, the concrete foundation of the house lies in three staggered planes, following the terrain. The site was carefully chosen to maximise the views from within the house, and the surrounding landscape dictates the house form very much. This feeling of ‘the home in a garden’ is further evoked by the use of a green roof which uses local shrubs and moss, and blackened-timber cladding on the exterior. The roof could be accessed from both inside through the upper-level loft area and on the ground, where the roof slope starts at the foot of the integrated boat shed.
Generous full-frame windows enclose the house to activate the feeling of being in the wild. The architects have further taken the landscape inside through the extensive use of timber, both on the exterior and inside the house. The light colour timber floors and ceiling, combined with muted colour walls and furniture, help to make the place feel like a part of Nature. On the inside, the guest is greeted with a large sunken living room with full height glass, which frames the views of Nature and blurs the boundaries between inside and outside.
KDRA S continues, "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 south-west-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."
The building touches the landscape lightly with minimal disturbance, which is one of the architects' main intentions. To compensate for not disturbing the existing site’s landscape, the design proposes an externally accessible plane on the green roof. The occupants can follow the ascent, stand on top of the edge of the roof above the trees and enjoy the open landscape of the fantastic Nature Iceland has to offer. The house succeeds in making a big statement through its small footprint.
Project: Holiday home by Þingvallavatn
Client: Tina Dickow and Helgi Hrafn Jónsson
Size: Main house: 145 m2, Boatshed: 26m2, plot: 1000 m2
Lead Architect: Kristján Eggertsson, Kristján Örn Kjartansson
Engineer: Emil Þór Guðmundsson
Interior carpentry and exterior detailing: Helgi Hrafn Jónsson, Jón Árni Þórisson, Christian Danielsen
Photo credits: Marino Thorlacius
Status: Completed 2020
KRADS is an architectural studio based in Denmark and Iceland, led by architects Kristján Eggertsson and Kristján Örn Kjartansson.