Project: Vacation Cottage
Architect: PK Arithmetic
Area: 1,108 sf
Photo by: Rafael Pinho, Bjarni Kristinson
Vacation Cottages by PK Architects
The Vacation Cottages Project in Iceland is a set of green-roofed buildings that blend perfectly with the lush surrounding landscape. Designed by PK Arithmetic it has access to spectacular views of the surrounding wild landscape.
In Winter 2012, PK Arithmetic was invited to take part in a competition for a vacation rental cottage for the Academics Association in Iceland. The 20 cabins will be located in Brekkuskógur, in Southwest Iceland. This area has a beautiful environment with uninterrupted views from each cottage to the nearest lake, Laugarvatn.
The main focus of design is to create semirural architecture that blends with the surrounding landscape and mountains. The remaining soil from the excavation is used to form a windshield bunker for outdoor terraces and to help unite the roof of the cabin with the sloping landscape around it. Vegetation from the site excavated from each building is maintained during the construction process and re-installed on the roof when finished.
The architectural concept is based on a simple and efficient plan solution, which limits circulation space and minimizes complicated details. Thus, the quality of the material can be improved thereby minimizing the need for expensive maintenance.
The building is a wooden construction that is placed on a concrete base. The exterior is clad in burning hardwood panels, utilizing a method well known in Japan, among other countries, to increase the durability of wood. The roof is a layer of grass that blends together with the surrounding slopes, a traditional method used in ancient grass houses in Iceland. The interior consists of a finely polished layer of concrete, with walls and ceilings lined with wood panels at the same intervals as the exterior cladding.
The living room and dining room are located in the heart of the houses where the kitchen opens to the main room. The bathroom has direct access to the terrace which leads to a geothermal hot tub. The houses use geothermal hydro energy from sources specifically drilled within the site boundary. The overall design complies with recognized ecological standards with the aim of promoting minimal environmental impact, creating cabins with an almost zero carbon footprint.