International Architecture Competition

Iceland
Northern Lights
Rooms

Results

Foreword

Competition organisers

Iceland 
Northern Lights 
Rooms

Iceland has a landscape like no other place on earth. An arctic desert with active volcanoes and hot springs, one can also find mountains, lakes, glaciers, waterfalls, fjords, and a rich trove of unique flora and fauna adapted to extreme cold and wind. Equally complex, Iceland’s sky brings travelers from around the world to view the stars free of city lights, and to catch a glimpse of the aurora borealis - these northern lights caused by solar winds fill the night sky with varying shades of green, red, and blue, creating forms that change constantly in shade and shape.

This competition tasked participants with envisioning a concept for a guest house, where visitors can privately observe and directly engage with this unusual geographic setting. The chosen location adjacent to Mývatn lake, is a site of 9 hectares in the northeast region of Iceland. Near to the Krafla volcano and thermal pools, the lake was created by a basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago; it is surrounded by wetlands that are also nesting ground for waterbirds, an important natural space monitored by the Mývatn Research Station since 1975.

Competition participants were asked to deliver design proposals for accommodations to house permanent hosts and up to 20 temporary guests. Submissions were asked to include host facilities in addition to a series of simply-designed single and double transportable guest room modules, with the capacity to sleep up to four, and a skylight through which to view the northern lights at night. In order to be relocated on site, these guest rooms are to moveable, without permanent foundations. Due to the delicate nature of the region no permanent construction is to take place within 200 metres of the lake. The brief also requested the inclusion of spaces to house a dining area, facilities to serve all users simultaneously, additional common spaces for group use, and a barn for 10 Icelandic horses which live outdoors year-round.

The jury was impressed by the quality and number of submissions. As with all Bee Breeders’ competitions, innovative proposals with thought-provoking design ideas were viewed favorably. Each of the winning proposals is lauded in particular for experimentation with a specific material, for its distinct interaction with the site and sky, for achieving a design that could be scalable, and for providing cost-effective solutions and construction methods in consideration of the extreme and natural environment. Bee Breeders would like to thank each participant for their participation.

1st Prize Winner

Project name

In-Visible

Authors

Kamila Szatanowska
Paulina Rogalska

Poland

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

For us, taking part in architectural vision competitions is a big chance for experimentation with space and structure, an opportunity to celebrate the design process and to face unusual topics.

Jury commentary

‘In-Visible’ features a series of mirror-clad guest houses of varying sizes, movable and distributed about the site, and when lit at night perform like glowing lanterns. A peat-covered main house is comprised of common spaces and host bedrooms, with a central entry protected from the weather and accessed from below. In a series of impressive images and drawings, the submission illustrates well, via scale and materiality, the design’s care to minimize site disturbance. The jury found this submission to be buildable, innovative and well-suited for its location. The jury encourages the designer to further study the interior experience of and structural solution for the guest house modules: What is it like to observe the skies privately from one’s bed? Are there alternative structural solutions to the anchoring cables?

2nd Prize Winner

Project name

Bleikur

Authors

Francois Bodlet

Belgium

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

I participate in this type of competition because the architectural program and the location is unique. The challenge to be met is even bigger when you know that there are many young talents who participate. Moreover, it goes about a competition that enjoys great international visibility. Beyond all this, the personal challenge is to excel while having fun.

Jury commentary

A visitor to Iceland might notice the typical corrugated metal panels that clad many homes in Reykjavik and other towns. According to Dennis Jóhannesson’s A Guide to Icelandic Architecture, this style evolved during the early 20th century, as iron was imported from England, and as timber housing was banned following a series of fires in Reykjavik. This submission adapts this regional cladding type and proposes a series of sail-shaped buildings made of metal and plywood. The drawings are striking and convincing. Here, the metallic cladding is silver-pink, a finish which changes according to weather patterns and sky color. The submission offers realistic cost and feasibility projections, complete with an energy system proposal. The curved forms of the buildings offer interesting interior and exterior spaces for viewing the landscape and skies.

3rd Prize Winner

Project name

Northern Lights

Authors

Catarina Oom de Sousa
Carla Romagosa Girós
Eftalia Proios Torras

Spain

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

Architecture vision competitions allow artists to explore the possibilities of the framework to its latest extent, something that is sometimes difficult when third party interests are involved. We consider these opportunities unequalled chances to present our conversation with context as a pure manifestation as a designer could expect.

Jury commentary

The jury was impressed by the effectiveness of the guesthouse design in this proposal. The project description reads: “All modules contain an optimized central nucleus where the facilities and private spaces are enclosed, allowing the circulation spaces to open towards the landscape.” Set within a cube of transparent ETFE pillow membranes, a compact core is surrounded by an open space. The energy-efficient advantages of ETFE compared to glass include lightness, thermal insulation, and surfaces that are self-cleaning. The result here is a beautifully-designed, semi-private space that proved unlike any other proposal put forth. Given the high winds in the Icelandic environment, however, can such a light structure as proposed be feasibly attained?

BB STUDENT AWARD

Project name

Marimo

Authors

Magdalena Pająk

University

Politechnika śląska
+74 points!

Poland

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

I participate in architecture vision competitions because they allow me to use my original ideas in architectural designs. I am sure that developing my imagination has improved the quality of my daily work in the office.
BB GREEN AWARD

Project name

Of crater and hearth

Authors

Chang Yuan Max Hsu
Hadeel Ayed Mohammad

United States

Why do you enter architecture
competitions?

Architecture competitions of this nature allow anyone to challenge, and provide a fresh approach to existing design dogmas. It is an incredible chance to step away from the conventional means of execution, and present a different perspective to a broader audience. It helps to facilitate the change in the profession through exposure and discussion, as well as one's own professional growth.

Honorable mentions

VIEWclose HONOURABLE MENTIONS

Project Name

Nous

Company

Nousfera lab

Country

Italy

Project authors

Daniele Conticchio
Aurora Del Sette
Beatrice Bella
Vincenzo Copogna

Project Name

Enlightened Lightrooms

Country

Kazakhstan

Project authors

Madina Zhazylbekova

Project Name

Northern Lights Rooms

Country

Romania

Project authors

Maria-Alexandra Antal
Greta Samiș
Andra Samiș

Project Name

Northern Lighthouse

Country

Japan

Project authors

Tyler Mcbeth
Veronika Smetanina
Benjamin Dossett

Project Name

Human Space

Country

Denmark

Project authors

Giovanni Simioni
Maximilian Rietschel
Lewis Williams
Damiano Toffanin

Project Name

Rolling Stones

Company

Olla architect studio

Country

Hungary

Project authors

Norbert Pánovits
Orsolya Méhes
Zsuzsanna Köninger-Péter

Shortlisted projects

VIEWclose Shortlisted projects

Canada

sarah ives
ron noble
newton xian
margot de man

United States

jaebong jeon
keunyoung lim

Mexico

regina gutiérrez badillo
alan figot

Denmark

kinga grzybowska
michał hondo
vera swahn
erpinio labrozzi

United Kingdom

University of Plymouth

+22 points!
elliott dennis

Italy

luca fogliata
cristian fracassi
roberto carollo
gabriele uberti

United Kingdom

Northumbria univeristy

kelly mackinnon
charles fernandez
taylor grindley

Switzerland

gabriel ciosu
beatrice anton

Italy

nina mohammadgholi songhori
arstoo mohamdgholisonghori
jacopo ginanneschi

Denmark

mette bruun banke
anne skytte christensen

Italy

Nousfera lab

daniele conticchio
aurora del sette
beatrice bella
vincenzo copogna

New Zealand

Victoria University of Wellington

+22 points!
jesse ewart
jason tan
tyler harlen

Hungary

Studio in-ex kft

fruzsina golles
noemi ivan
kata varga
Árpád szilágyi

Switzerland

adrian moreno
luis miguel murillo

Czech Republic

ales javurek
jiri buzek

Canada

Université Laval School of Architecture, École d'architecture de l'Université Laval

+22 points!
florence côté
francis gaignard
gabriel lemelin

Japan

tyler mcbeth
veronika smetanina
benjamin dossett

United Kingdom

Kamvari architects

omid kamvari
masoud saeedian
faraneh ghahremani

United States

University of Cincinnati

+22 points!
jessica wetherell
kelly douglas

United States

emma hardie
tyler hardie

Italy

Politecnico di Milano / Polytechnic University of Milan

+22 points!
matteo pegorin
massimo fontana
francesco quattrone

Spain

catarina oom de sousa
carla romagosa girós
eftalia proios torras

United Kingdom

Gk architects

aleksandra matczak
dagmara sienkiewicz
filip symonowicz
alicja sawicka

United States

University of Cincinnati

+22 points!
shoshanna sidell
jonah pruitt

Germany

Bauhaus - Universität Weimar

+22 points!
hannes heitmüller
sophie weber

United Kingdom

joanna hobbs
william foster

Italy

lagrutta roberto
rossetti antonio
di gregorio roberto

Poland

marcin janulewicz
agata Ślusarek
patryk jaskulski

United States

reihaneh noori
hannah vaughn
nader nikgoftar
mehran rezvan

Austria

Vienna University of Technology , Technische Universität Wien, TU Wien

+22 points!
danail machev

Romania

maria-alexandra antal
greta samiș
andra samiș

Italy

Politecnico di Milano / Polytechnic University of Milan

+22 points!
siyka georgieva
patricia fredborg

Poland

kamila szatanowska
paulina rogalska

Denmark

inci lize ogun
karolina pajnowska
karolina mieszczanek

Iran

Baravord sazeh mazand

shiva shahidi
maryam iemaniemadi
farshid mehdipour
mahsa ettehadi

United States

Modulus

david fenster
shahab ahghari
andy brandt

Spain

University of Granada, Universidad de Granada

+22 points!
jaime cubero zapata

France

ENSAPLV - Paris La Villette - Architecture, École nationale supérieure d'architecture de Paris-La Villette

+22 points!
orlane guillouet-lamy
emilie botella

Hungary

Olla architect studio

norbert pánovits
orsolya méhes
zsuzsanna köninger-péter

Italy

anna caldana
emanuele crainich
valentina schiano

United Kingdom

Square peg bureau

tom irwin

Netherlands

Windesheim University of Applied Sciences

+22 points!
sabine rothengatter
alwin pluim

France

juliette cottereau
mathilde dassonville
pauline mortreau

Italy

valentino donnini
flamina d'aria
elia fontani
tommaso piccardi

Austria

Academy of Fine Arts Vienna

+22 points!
martin kohlberger
jakob czinger
anna orbanic

United States

alexandra ramirez
jahaan scipio

Poland

Silesian University of Technology , Politechnika Śląska

+74 points!
magdalena pająk

Denmark

giovanni simioni
maximilian rietschel
lewis williams
damiano toffanin

United States

chang yuan max hsu
hadeel ayed mohammad

Panama

Mac10studio

mac10studio architects
aixa caldera
williams mendez
marco celis
 

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Competition results

MICROHOME

MICROHOME

Small living, huge impact! Edition #4
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Pixel Homes

Hong Kong Pixel Homes

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