Foreword

Bee Breeders is rolling out its first country-based architecture competition series, with three spectacular prospective sites located in northern Iceland. In the debut competition of this series, we are seeking design proposals for a new visitor center to be located between Myvatn Lake and Hverfjall volcano, within the famed Black Lava Fields of Iceland’s Dimmuborgir region. Participants were asked to consider design solutions that are compatible with and take advantage of the site’s surroundings: by incorporating contextually-appropriate materials, by offering panoramic views of nearby lava rocks and birch trees, and by providing a well-suited place for viewing the seasonal northern lights.

The term ‘Dimmuborgir’ evolves from the Icelandic word for Dark Castles. Its landscape is comprised of dramatic, dynamic black rock formations, the result of a volcanic eruption dated to 2,300 years ago, when molten lava is supposed to have flowed across wetlands, causing the water to boil and vapour to rise through the lava, and thereby creating unique lava ‘pillars’ that vary from a few centimetres to several metres in diameter.

Dimmuborgir is one of Iceland's most popular destinations. Thousands of tourists make the journey here each year. With the Iceland Black Lava Fields Visitor Center architecture competition, Bee Breeders is seeking an innovative new structure that will perform as a landing point for this incredible landscape, to replace the current visitor center constructed from container modules. For this design competition, it was asked that the height of the new building be kept to a single floor, with the possibility to locate program one level underground. The visitor center is to be operational year-round. There is a need for site parking, and all facilities are to be accessible to the handicapped. 

Proposals drew from Icelandic heritage and traditional materials, experimented with varied forms, and considered ways of balancing opacity with transparency to offer both insulation from the cold and views to the surroundings. Several used ramped structures to elevate visitors to higher viewing points. Others brought visitors below ground. Those proposals that were restrained and respectful to the site spoke most clearly to the jury, who sought ideas for maintaining the landscape’s harmony. 

Bee Breeders would like to thank the participants for their time and energy in realizing this new collection of design ideas.

COMPETITION ORGANISERS
Iceland 
Black Lava Fields 
Visitor Center

1st Prize Winner

Project name

Cast in fire

I like the opportunity to test ideas and techniques in a very specific way. It is the challenge and fantasy that is the driving force.

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Author Mikkel Vadstrup Schmidt
Country Denmark

2nd Prize Winner

Project name

BLACK LAVA FIELDS VISITOR CENTER

Competitions help us to develop our conceptual thinking, creativity and to explore our architectural boundaries. We believe it is a great opportunity to show to the world what we think and what we love to do.

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Company Archty
Country Brazil

3rd Prize Winner

Project name

BLACK ROCK

As a means to investigate our particular interest in the concept of ‘ideal’ versus ‘idea’. Ideal as perhaps the state of a project as a pure proposition, unadulterated form, and protected from the apparent, yet inescapable, mundane constrictions that come in the process of realizing a project. In that sense we see these types of competitions as space to investigate these notions of ideal. We remain curious about how an ideal proposition like this will transform into the state of an ‘idea’ once this precious abstract state begins to integrate a whole new territory of constraints.

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Company Sala hars
Country United States

BB STUDENT AWARD

Project name

Black Lava Fields Visitor Center

Participating in an architecture competition allows the participating architects and students to share, discuss and compare views and ideas internationally. This supports the spreading of knowledge and expertise outside of the home, university or workplace.

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University Technical university braunschweig
Authors Annika Möbs , Johanna Spies von Büllesheim

Country Germany
+74 points Buildner University Rankings

BB GREEN AWARD

Project name

The Monolith of Dimmuborgir

Authors Asger Rasmussen, Sebastian Zapata Ottung Henriksen, Victor Ohn-Breumlund
Country Denmark

Honorable Mentions

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Project name

STONE WOOD VEGETATION

Authors Anna Laura Hölz, Stefan Pflips
Country Germany
Project name

SPACES OF STORIES

Authors Gregory Brais Sioui, Frederic Champagne
Country Canada
Project name

Sleeping Volcano

Country Hungary
Project name

Kirjka Turf House

Project name

THE PORTAL TO THE DARK CASTLES

Author Xinyi Wang
Country Australia
Project name

Dimmuborgir Visitor Centre

Author Catalina Edey
Country Australia

Shortlisted projects

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Black Lava Fields Visitor Center

Tai Terupo

Australia

MIRAGE

Johann Evin

New Zealand

geo thermo haptic landscape

Lisa Moffitt

Calum Rennie

Laura Haylock

United Kingdom

(in)FORMATION

Indra samala Alam

Natasha Brenda Kasim

Thomas Hahnke

Italy

THE PORTAL TO THE DARK CASTLES

Xinyi Wang

Australia

Cast in fire

Mikkel Vadstrup Schmidt

Denmark

Nýja Borgin

Rune Nistad

Daniel Loe

Vlad Lyakhov

Norway

A Journey through the Elements

André Duarte

Portugal

Landforms living room

Xu Li

Dean Li

Wei Li

Zuohai Yu

China

Dark Castle

Kaikang Shen

Daya Zhang

United States

Kirjka Turf House

Joseph Kim

Axelle Bosman

United States

BLACK DIAMOND

Davina Bonino

Gustavo Barrirero

Leandro Copello

Argentina

A Song of Ice & Fire

Wei Zhao

Odesign

China

Vulcanic Columns

Albin Karlsson

Johanna Jonsson

Polymorf

Sweden

The Monolith of Dimmuborgir

Asger Rasmussen

Sebastian Zapata Ottung Henriksen

Victor Ohn-Breumlund

Denmark

The Folio - Unveiling The Landscape

Chun hon Ma

Ka wah francis Cheung

Ngai lam ellen Lau

The university of hong kong

+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
Hong Kong

LAVA LODGE

Serge Atallah

Ase product

France

AnimaLocus

Panayotis Malefakis

Anna maria Chatzi

Nicol Lambrou

Greece

Dark Castle

Bryan Apito

United States

BLACK LAVA FIELDS VISITOR CENTER

Petra Dagan

Tomáš Cieśla

Miroslav Krátký

Anežka Straková

Archicraft

Czech Republic

The Dimmuborgir Ridge

Pegah Shariatmadari

Mahsa Mohebali

Asal Abrishambaf

Maryam Amini

Iran

JEFF VANDEBERG

Jeff Vandeberg

Tao Kostman

United States

Pumice Henge

Ron Noble

Arthur Goldstein

Canada

Ray Heikkila

Sam Winemiller

University of minnesota, twin-cities

+22 points Buildner University Rankings!
United States

Memories in Frame

Kevin So

Tdstudio

Japan

SPACES OF STORIES

Gregory Brais Sioui

Frederic Champagne

Canada

Tuff Earth

Garrett Nelli

Gabriel Quijada

United States

STONE WOOD VEGETATION

Anna Laura Hölz

Stefan Pflips

Germany

IN BETWEEN

Dan Rider

Martin Chavanne

Shawn Michael

Jen Hocke

Cline design associates

United States

Longhouse: "Gateway to Dimmuborgir"

Andrew Kotleski

Josh Mcdonald

Omar Aboulezz

United States

BLACK ROCK

Juan Sala

Douglas Harsevoort

Sala hars

United States

Black Lava Fields Visitor Center

Annika Möbs

Johanna Spies von Büllesheim


Technical university braunschweig

+74 points Buildner University Rankings!
Germany

Dimmuborgir Visitor Centre

Iain Tregoning

John Roberts

United Kingdom

BLACK LAVA FIELDS VISITOR CENTER

Luís Henrique Alcântara

Vladimir Alcântara

Archty

Brazil

Petros Mouchasiris

United Kingdom

On The Top Of The Hill

Bogdan Bondarenko

Ukraine

TRINITY

Marcello Bramigk bonon

Binh minh Dao

John paul Kaufel

Germany

MÚSPELLSHEIMR : BLACK LAVA GEOTHERMAL

Adin Rimland

Keshav Ramaswami

United States

Dimmuborgir Visitor Center

Chiara Magnani

Dario Alberti

Francesco Colinucci

Italy

Dimmuborgir Visitor Centre

Catalina Edey

Australia

Sleeping Volcano

Davor Robitschko

Hungary