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🟩 GreenBricks Building of the Week 🟩 Snaefellsstofa Visitor Centre

Glacial green


Set in Europe’s largest National Park, this minimalist building evokes the look, feel and majesty of a glacier. Its chief accomplishment: blending into the rugged landscape, not showy, nor distracting.

📍Location


🏢Building Details

  • Completed June 2010

  • 765 sq m – X shaped building

  • Office, café, retail + exhibition space


👷🏾‍♀️Developer & Contractor


✍️Architects & Engineers


🌱Sustainability

  • 1st BREEAM-certified building in Iceland – helping visitors engage with National park while educating on sustainable design

  • Building divided into 3 parts so it can be utilised in different ways depending on the season + sunlight; flexible spaces easily combine + connect both indoors and outdoors

  • Green turf roof and thick wall insulation reduces heat loss

  • Clear and simple material palette – locally sourced wood, concrete, and dark-brown copper cladding to ensure the building’s durability in a harsh environment


🥦 Wellbeing

  • Strategic hilltop location – provides shelter from winds, ample daylight + sweeping mountain views

  • Locally sourced larch wood used for interior furnishings – feeling of warmth + connection to surrounding environment

  • Parking + service areas strategically screened off by vegetation and landscaping walls built using local volcanic rock

  • Central hall + generous ceiling heights allow for permanent exhibition space


🎈Bonus feature

The form of the building was inspired by the process that forms glaciers – in which a large mass of compressed snow is squeezed through a tight space. Great architecture imitates nature, snow doubt.





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