The institute’s volume is inspired by the bodies of insects as well as the nearby Mount Keilir, which is mirrored in the prominent form of the front of the building. Two fissures separate the building into three masses, which helps reduce the building’s volume to the human scale of the streetscape. The fissures contain glass-walled walkways highlighted by bright green walls that break up the office environment for employees as they walk from one part of the building to another. These breaks create a closer connection to the surrounding environment by providing strong visuals of the earth and sky.
The upper floors of the building are enveloped in a double-glass facade that assists with the building’s natural ventilation scheme, daylighting and weather shielding. The glass is fritted with a pattern specially designed for the building that resembles the formation of ice crystals. These beautiful ice crystal formations diffuse light as it enters the building, reducing glare as well as heat gain. Iceland is located at a high Northern latitude, so the glass is designed to take advantage of low sun angles. Exposed concrete frames the glass and creates a contrast to the translucent material.
Images ©ARKÍS/Vigfus Birgisson