Bridgette Meinhold

Glacier-Inspired Vatnajökull Visitor Center for Europe’s Largest National Park

by , 01/20/11

Snæfellsstofa Visitor Center, iceland, arkis architects, visitor center, breeam, green building, sustaianble architectureImage © Sigurgeir Sigurjónsson

The X-shaped visitor center features two different program elements that cross in the middle where the information path is located. One axis is built from cast-in-place concrete intertwined with locally-sourced larch wood panels, while the other axis is clad in locked dark-brown copper and features a wood interior. A thick layer of insulation separates the exterior layers from the interior.

The building also takes advantage of ample daylighting, and each room was designed according to its function and lighting needs. Energy-efficient lighting and natural daylighting minimizes energy use, while the turf roof provides more insulation for one of the axis. The visitor center is the first BREEAM certified building in Iceland, and it is sure to help visitors engage with the park while educating them about sustainable design.

+ ARKÍS architects

+ Vatnajokull National Park

Images Courtesy of ARKÍS Architects

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