Stunning Icelandic Institute is an Ice-Frosted Eco Citadel

by , 01/05/11

Iceland Institute of Natural History, ARKÍS, arkis, iceland, fritted glass, green design, green building, sustainable architecture

The institute’s responsibilities include researching and monitoring nature, and its stunning new building makes a strong case for sustainability and ecological stewardship in the area surrounding it. The backside of the building features a green roof with local turf and moss, which works to infiltrate rainwater, and permeable surfaces in the parking lot and swales around the building slow stormwater. The habitat of local insects and birds is minimized with the addition of the green roof and swales.

The double glass facade is part of the building’s natural ventilation scheme, and each office has at least two operable windows to encourage air flow. Natural daylighting and access to views of the surrounding landscape are also important building strategies. The research institute was recently completed in October 2010 as part of the Urridaholt master plan, which has already won awards, including the Award of the Boston Society of Architects and the Nordegrio Award. The institute is currently undergoing BREEAM post construction assessment, which they expect to complete the Spring of 2011.


+ Icelandic Institute of Natural History

Via Dezeen

Images ©ARKÍS/Vigfus Birgisson

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  1. lazyreader January 11, 2011 at 8:09 am

    Building something for lab-less Icelandic scientist’s. I thought Iceland was totally bankrupt.

  2. GeothermalHVAC January 6, 2011 at 10:07 am

    Wow! Yes that is truly incredible! Wish there were places like this closer to home to tour.

  3. homesbykaira January 5, 2011 at 11:14 pm

    You have a really interesting blog, and I love reading your posts! I am a realtor and artist in Portland, Oregon, and I will be sure to mention your site in my blog at Please stop by my site, and I will continue to follow your blog as well. Keep up the great posts!

  4. Holcim Awards January 5, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    This is a really beautiful design. The double facade is fantastic both aesthetically and for increased performance

    Check out the Holcim Awards for Sustainable Construction for other inspiring sustainable projects.
    The Holcim Awards are now open for submissions and is free. Enter your project today!

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