🟩 GreenBricks Building of the Week 🟩 Snaefellsstofa Visitor Centre
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.
Completed June 2010
765 sq m – X shaped building
Office, café, retail + exhibition space
👷🏾♀️Developer & Contractor
✍️Architects & Engineers
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
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
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.