Árborg House by PK Arkitektar overlooks
an Icelandic glacial valley

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Panoramic views of the dramatic Icelandic landscape are offered from this holiday home near Reykjavik by local studio PK Arkitektar (+ slideshow).

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

PK Arkitektar designed Árborg House for a mossy hill high above the glacial valley of the Hvita river, a two-hour drive from the Icelandic capital.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

The single-storey house is clad in concrete, which is textured with vertical lines and contains gravel from the river below as an aggregate.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

Moss that was removed to make way for the structure has been reinstalled on the roof.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

The house is entered through a long corridor that leads from the back, past the garage.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

Guest bedrooms are accessed along another corridor that runs adjacent to the entrance passage.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

A linear volume positioned perpendicular to these rooms is glazed entirely across the longest facade, facing the valley and mountains to the west.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

Kitchen, dining and living spaces as well as the master suite are arranged along this section, connected along the glass wall so the view is uninterrupted.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

Internal surfaces are covered throughout with smooth concrete and teak boards, which conceal cupboards and drawers in the kitchen.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

The wood continues out onto the terrace, where it is intended to weather and blend in with the landscape.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

"Doors and terraces are clad with teak boards that will gradually weather to a colour grade to match the seasonal moss and the broken concrete surface," said the architects.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

Projecting out from the terrace, an infinity pool containing a circular hot tub has pebbles from the riverbed covering its floor.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

Photography is by Rafael Pinho and Helge Garke.

Here's a description from the architects:


Árborg House

This vacation house is located on the banks of the Hvita river, a two-hour drive East of Reykjavik. The site is a moss-covered hill with a view over a quiet bend in the glacier-formed river. In the spring, the river carries the icebergs from the glacier towards the sea some 100km away.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

The approach to the vacation house is from the top of the hill. The building is organised as a sequence of events: from the entrance porch through the closed courtyard into the living space and out onto the terrace at the end.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

Living, dining, kitchen, and master bedroom are all arranged in one continuous room. This enables panoramic views of the river and the distant mountains to the west.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

The exterior is a broken surface of light grey fair-faced concrete. The gravel from the riverbed is blended into the concrete, and is revealed in the broken surface. It harmonises the outside walls with the moss of the surrounding landscape.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur

Leftover moss from the footprint of the house covers the roof. It was kept aside and regularly nursed during the building process, before being reinstalled on the roof.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur
Site plan

Doors and terraces are clad with teak boards that will gradually weather to a colour grade to match the seasonal moss and the broken concrete surface. Fair-faced concrete walls through out the entire interior are matched with untreated teak boards on floors and ceilings.

Arborg House by PK Arkitektur
Floor plan

Selected pebbles from the nearby riverbed cover the bottom of the infinity pool. The pool projects out in front of the terrace, and serves as a railing which otherwise would have interrupted the view of the river.

  • samcooke6

    Wow at the spa/pool detail. Beautiful house.

  • r2d2

    Clean and boring, arriving side looks like a crematorium.

    • Embee

      Clean and boring indeed. When will we architects get over our obsession with minimalism, and the exhausted tropes of Miesian modernism?

  • http://www.facebook.com/chuck.anziulewicz PolishBear

    It’s fantastic, just the sort of place I fantasise about living in.

  • papou

    Wonderful house.

  • Guilherme Ferraz

    Love it.

  • Mob

    A very nice piece of architecture. Beautiful texture on the concrete, it is in complete harmony with the dramatic volcanic landscape of Iceland. The plan is clear and simple, but beautifully balanced.

    I like the main living space sequence, from master bedroom through the hall, kitchen, dining and living spaces that end at the outside terrace.

    It’s a very well considered dwelling and the architects should be congratulated.