Iceland’s weather extremes poses unique challenges for residents and travelers – but the country’s capital Reykjavik is planning a series of new eco biodomes that will welcome Icelanders with warmth and style. Designed by Spor i Sandinn, Aldin is a fully sustainable biodome community powered by geothermal energy.

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Located in the Elliðaárdalur Valley of Reykjavik, the biodome community will feature a central plaza surrounded by ample public spaces for social functions and public activities – as well as a marketplace and various cafes. Inside the biodome, the interior temp will be kept at a balmy 25°C – an optimal temperature for tropical plantings and a working urban farm.

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According to Hjördís Sigurðardóttir, the founder and CEO of Spor i Sandinn, the project will show the world a new side of Icelandic agriculture: “This glazed landmark Biodome will seek to reconnect people to nature in new and exciting ways, combining the experience of tropical temperatures, with a farmers’ market and an agricultural laboratory. Aldin will be a hub for minds and thoughts, a space for a healthy community to meet, shop, relax and socialize, as well as an authentic attraction for tourists.” Aldin will rent out spaces to green-minded tenants such as farm-to-table restaurants, green product retail stores, and health-related businesses.

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Sigurðardóttir contends that the biodome project could also serve as an example of how to create and build new and meaningful infrastructure, “The Biodome represents this. It is a statement of change, highlighting the benefits of another way of thinking and of energy-efficient buildings.” The Aldin project is currently waiting for approval, but it’s expected to open late 2018 or early 2019.

*The article is based on an interview with Hjördís Sigurðardóttir, Founder and CEO of Spor i Sandinn, undertaken by Thomas Bishop, Head of the Built Environment Unit at the London-based Polar Research and Policy Initiative. For the original interview, please visit The Polar Connection.

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