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

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