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.
The single-storey house is clad in concrete, which is textured with vertical lines and contains gravel from the river below as an aggregate.
Moss that was removed to make way for the structure has been reinstalled on the roof.
The house is entered through a long corridor that leads from the back, past the garage.
Guest bedrooms are accessed along another corridor that runs adjacent to the entrance passage.
A linear volume positioned perpendicular to these rooms is glazed entirely across the longest facade, facing the valley and mountains to the west.
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.
Internal surfaces are covered throughout with smooth concrete and teak boards, which conceal cupboards and drawers in the kitchen.
The wood continues out onto the terrace, where it is intended to weather and blend in with the landscape.
"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.
Projecting out from the terrace, an infinity pool containing a circular hot tub has pebbles from the riverbed covering its floor.
Here's a description from the architects:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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