Sprout - Greenhouse Restaurant
Myvatn Region, Iceland
2021
Competition

The Greenhouse Restaurant is composed of two volumes that sit at 45° to each other: a long and narrow greenhouse and a squared plan support building. The rotation of the square building allows for minimal shading of the greenhouse and creates a directional relationship between the multipurpose hall and Hverfjall Volcano. The greenhouse’s orientation maximizes solar gains while also creating views of the volcano and the baths.

Making use of two ramps, the support building has access on all levels with minimal impact on the existing topography. One ramp takes visitors to the main entrance on the ground floor and the second one to the first floor multipurpose hall. The roof terrace can be accessed directly by hikers via a bridge.

In order to provide sustainable methods for regulating the temperature and humidity of the greenhouse restaurant, the volume of air needs to be kept relatively low. To achieve this, the greenhouse circulation routes are pushed into the existing ground, lowering the roof height. Concrete retaining walls form the circulation routes and the planting areas. This is not only a practical solution but also a method to create memorable experiences for the visitors by bringing their eyesight closer to the plants. For a more immersed dining experience, gardening can be done during the opening hours of the restaurant.

The structure holding the ETFE roof is a light and economic metalic structure. It can be sustained on pier foundations for minimal ground works. This flexible structure allows for the greenhouse to slope towards South improving solar gains. This slope that follows the topography enables views of the Mývatn Nature Baths and of the Hverfjall Volcano from every dining table.

The support building is an in-situ reinforced concrete structure. It will be clad in elements that can be “pre-cast” on site. These panels will make use of local rocks for decoration. The pre-cast moulds can be built remotely and concrete can be poured on-site. The process would be done face up in order to set existing rocks into the walls.

The MEP systems for the greenhouse will be built into the existing ground: heating pipes, ventilation outlets, humidity control and irrigation can come up from the ground in the necessary positions. For minimal interference with the roof structure, lighting and electricity can be dealt with in the same way. Rainwater collection tanks are placed under the planting areas of the greenhouse. Rain will be collected from both roofs and directed to the tanks through the central columns.