Jury feedback summary
Rising from Grjótagjá installs three individual volumes, connected by a system of paths spanning the tectonic divide. These buildings connect the visitor to the two continents in a subtle and gentle way. The volumes play into the Icelandic landscape and become manmade extensions of nature. The volumes are related formally, and their different functions suggest that the visitor can move among them to explore the site and feel the grandness of standing at the frontier of two continents. According to the jury, “The spatial organization inside the buildings is quite convincing, and the connection to the landscape works well. The project's reference to traditional farmhouses supports the concept of being one with nature. It has the strength to be realized.” The jury also praised the project’s minimal, elegant, and considerate siting: the three simple building volumes feel "undesigned" yet crisply abstract in the vast natural landscape – an unpretentious yet precise intervention to mark the site. The concept demonstrates a sensitive approach to the context, giving clear priority to nature, with a spatial strategy based on a series of interventions or, incisions in the landscape. Creating a special compositional tension, the work is particularly convincing in the experience of an interplay between the minimalist elements, present and subtle at the same time. The suggested combination of rammed earth and modular wood construction with landscaped roofs is realistic and ideally supports the concept. The resulting raw exteriors and interiors link to the site and promise to age gracefully into the natural habitat.