Hverfjall in northern Iceland is what’s known as a “tuff ring” volcano or a tephra cone volcano. Located east of the volcanic Lake Mývatn, Hverfjall’s volcanic explosion crater is 1 km wide and approximately 140 meters deep. It is a popular hiking destination where visitors can easily access many parts of the crater via public hiking trails which can reach up to 200 meters in height.

Left – Aerial view of Hverfjall crater. Right – Northern Lights, Mývatn, Iceland


Believed to have been created during a volcano eruption, Hverfjall is almost perfectly symmetrical, with a slight variation at the site of a landslide which took place several years ago. Its dark, captivating colours make it a popular tourist attraction and photography spot, and the site is protected, meaning visitors can only use the two approved hiking trails to access the crater, with all other areas restricted.

Hverfjall volcano crater is almost perfectly symmetrical

Iceland Volcano Coffee Shop competition site


For the Iceland Volcano Coffee Shop competition, Buildner architecture competition organisers have partnered with Landeigendur Voga ehf (Landowners of Vogar farmland) as part of a series of competitions based in Iceland. For this competition, architects and architecture enthusiasts are called to submit designs for a coffee shop that would be located at the base of the Hverfjall volcano. The new coffee shop would need to include facilities for a new visitor centre and a small exhibition room that would give visitors information about the volcano’s history.

Winning designs will be put forward for construction, so they should strike a balance of practical ideas and creative design that is sustainable, unique, and in keeping with the landscape.

Download full competition brief for more information!

Competition is open to all. No professional qualification is required. Design proposals can be developed individually or by teams (4 team members maximum). Correspondence with organizers must be conducted in English; All information submitted by participants must be in English

Iceland Volcano 
Coffee Shop
Official partner
Iceland Volcano 
Coffee Shop