in collaboration with Seung Hyo Chang | advised by Hannibal Newsom of Mago Architecture
Shortlisted for Buildner's Iceland Lake Myvatn Community House International Architecture Competition. For more information on the project brief, please visit here.
ICE HUTS mimics volcanic forms and fluid landscapes to form hut-like volumes that bridge the Skútustaðahreppur and Þingeyjarsveit municipalities together. These volumes and interlocking roof planes come together to create community space that is oriented around the greenhouse. The profile of the community house is designed in harmony with the small hills, so static viewing from each side reveals a unique landscape and building form. Our goal is to create a warm and inviting atmosphere that centers around plants. The copper colored aluminum panels are remnants of Iceland’s history of corrugated iron panels. Paired with channel glass, our project gives a soft glow and warm appearance. Skylights are a response to the act of ‘looking up’ towards the northern lights.
Consideration for Iceland’s vernacular architecture and greenhouse farming is seen across the community house.
We began our project by developing the idea of introvert and extrovert through topography lines. This helped inform the gentle nesting of our project into the hills and its interior program. Then we created two basic different types of overlaps that could be used in organizing different programs. Zooming in, we broke down our program into three main parts, and connected them through actions that occur between them. Everything is interconnected and relies on each other. From that, we broke our program into three main physical chunks, developed them individually, then assembled them together. From that, we added a continuous “ribbon” aperture that wraps around the building. This controlled amount of channel and transparent glass gives people a soft and lightly diffused space, privacy, and good thermal insulation. Since this is a landscape project, we want visitors to engage with the immediate site. Stemming from our building there are pathways that both lead people in and guide them out into the landscape.
Visitors enter at the heart of the building into a large open space dominated by the greenhouse, and they are able to view the LED lights glowing and the plants from above. They have the freedom to travel up a ramp at the interior edge of the building (which leads them into a public greenhouse on the second floor), walk to the event space, or go up into the bath and rest area. The second floor is a very extroverted space. This floor is where vehicles are introduced. There are bins for people to drive by and drop off trash. Coming up from the 1st floor, people are welcomed into an open extroverted space of greenhouse, workshop, and education. Bookshelves are created from the angled walls of our form. The third floor shows a grand, double height resource exchange area that connects to the depot and recycle area.
Double height spaces occur throughout the building in the lobby, greenhouse, resource exchange, bath, and event space area.
The proposed occupancy is lower than the maximum allowed occupancy so we have more than enough space. Maximum travel distances are also less than 200 ft. The mechanical units (ERV + compressors) are placed in the awkward wall spaces. They are connected to the building’s ducts and fan coil units. At places where there is no flat ceiling, we use linear diffusers and floor grilles.
Overlapped volumes are divided into two different parts: the lower part is supported by concrete, and the upper part is supported by wood frames. The wood framing system has three different types of beams. There are two horizontal members that penetrate all the materials to function as tension rings, which hold all the massing together. The vertical primary beams have horizontal secondary beams in between.
The three main elements for the exterior envelope are channel glass, aluminum panels, which are supported by timber structural frames and concrete on the lower part of the massing. Two instances run throughout the building. The first is where everything is enclosed by opaque surfaces from top to bottom. The second is where concrete meets channel glass, and channel glass meets the aluminum panel. Additionally, a ventilated façade system on the exterior envelope is utilized by having an air gap in between the rigid insulation and prefabricated aluminum panels. This protects the building from rain as well as creating a washing-air flow to relieve wind pressure on the façade.