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Global Architecture Platform

Garður Landhouse

Iceland, 2014

Garður is a large parcel of land on the east bank of the Ytri Rangá river. It’s a harsh landscape with scarce vegetation the result of ash fall from the volcano Hekla. Thanks to the client’s vision and commitment, the denudation is being reversed by a remarkable reforestation program entailing the planting and tending of indigenous saplings to bind and shelter the barren surface. The Landhouse is located at the heart of this project, tucked under one of the many rolling dunes that characterise the topography.

The living space and kitchen are centrally located beneath an in-situ concrete arch and are flanked by bedrooms, bathroom and entrance hall snuggled into sturdy buttresses. The north and south walls are fully glazed framing Hekla and embracing sunshine respectively. The concrete floor is polished to a terrazzo finish to reveal the basalt aggregate and shell fragments that tone with the solid oak carpentry of internal walls and fitments. Before long, kindling for the wood-burning stove should be in plentiful supply.

The house may be small but scale in this environment is virtually infinite. Substantial earthwork berms key the house into the larger landscape, shelter the external spaces from inclement weather and culminate as a warm turf cloak, wrapped over the roof.


Client: Hjalti Harðarson & Ólöf Helga Guðmundsdóttir
Architects: Studio Granda
Structural & environmental Engineers: Viðsjá
Electrical engineers: VJÍ
Contractor: Trésmiðja Rangá

Photographs: Rui Ferreira

16.Mar.2017 2613 views
Studio Granda Studio Granda

Margrét Harðardóttir and Steve Christer met at the Architectural Association in London and established Studio Granda in Iceland after winning the competition for the design of the Reykjavík City Hall in 1987. The island location has limited the opportunity for specialisation and ensured a wide diversity of work including commissions for public and private clients as well as infrastructure, planning, product design and collaborations with artists.

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