Gallery: Glacier-Inspired Vatnajökull Visitor Center for Europe’s Large...

Located in Iceland's Vatnajokull National Park is the Snæfellsstofa Visitor Center - Iceland's first BREEAM certified building. Inspired by local materials and the glaciers in the surrounding park, the new visitor center is a striking work of architecture situated in a haunting and beautiful natural landscape. Designed by Iceland's own, ARKÍS Architects, the center is built on a sloping hillside to take advantage of views and natural wind protection, and it features a concrete and wood construction topped with a green roof.

Founded in 2008, Vatnajökull National Park is Europe’s largest national park and is famous for the Vatnajökull glacier. ARKÍS won a competition to design one of the park’s visitor centers, which they completed construction on last year. The 765 sq meter visitor center houses a cafe, exhibition areas, offices, a shop, a library, and meeting areas.

The form of the building was inspired by the formation of a glacier, wherein a large mass of compressed snow is squeezed through a tight space. Visitors approach the center from below almost as if they were a climber ascending the glacier, and parking and service areas are kept hidden by landscaping to keep the view pure. Sited on a sloping hill, the building glides over the terrain, enjoys sweeping views of the landscape, and is sheltered from winds.


or your inhabitat account below

Let's make sure you're a real person:

get the free Inhabitat newsletter

Submit this form
popular today
all time
most commented
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
more popular stories >
Federated Media Publishing - Home