Timber and concrete summer house faces scenic Icelandic landscape

This holiday home on the south coast of Iceland features a sheltered central courtyard lined by a pair of timber volumes and a terrace with a panoramic view of a nearby lake.

Summerhouse in South Iceland by Gláma Kím

Reykjavik architecture studio Gláma Kím designed the holiday home for a site on a ridge next to a deep and rugged gulley, beyond which rises a steep rock face.

The building’s elevated location affords it an expansive view across the lake towards a mountain range to the north, with more impressive mountain scenery surrounding it to the south and west.

Summerhouse in South Iceland by Gláma Kím

“The design aims to amplify this magnificent site by framing the vistas from both inside and outside the house,” said a statement from the architects.

“Although the house stands on a high ridge, it sits modestly within the spectacular scenery.”

Summerhouse in South Iceland by Gláma Kím

The arrangement of the building’s internal and external spaces is a direct response to the setting, and designed to optimise sun and shelter.

The property consists of three rectangular blocks positioned around a south-facing outdoor space, with a cedar-clad roof connecting the various internal spaces.

Summerhouse in South Iceland by Gláma Kím

The central volume contains a kitchen and living room that opens onto the decked terrace. This concrete structure incorporates large glazed surfaces on both sides.

At either end of the central volume are a pair of cedar-clad wings containing the sleeping quarters and guest accommodation.

Summerhouse in South Iceland by Gláma Kím

A cedar canopy that extends out from the inner edge of the living space connects with the guest wing and creates a sheltered area between these volumes.

The master bedroom is positioned off the living area, and features a fully glazed end wall that provides a view of the landscape and sky from the bed.

Summerhouse in South Iceland by Gláma Kím

A simple material palette is applied throughout the project, with concrete, wood and glass used for the majority of surfaces. The materials are used to demarcate different functional zones, as well as to connect the internal and external spaces.

The living area’s polished aggregated flooring extends out beyond the large north-facing windows, while the wooden battens used to clad the ceiling continue across the underside of the external canopy.

Photography is by Nanne Springer.

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