Myvatn Region, Iceland

In a natural environment that inspires such strength and the permanence of change, the concept of the proposed buildings aims to materialise into a series of tent-like buildings. The feeling coming from the gestalt and arrangement of these four timber buildings is that of impermanence.

Each “tent” takes a definitive slice of the brief’s programme. There is no complex building accomodating multiple purposes. This approach takes from early settlements or even from temporary camps. Apart from the subjective ideas the concept might impress, there are also practical results. The circulation is simplified and becomes straight forward for first-time visitors. There is more scope for prefabrication, repetitive elements, speed of assembly and reduction of energy costs. Buildings with different use hours can be heated or cooled independently.

The proposed building system is that of a timber-framed structure on insulated concrete foundations. The proposed exterior finish is timber shingles while the interior wall finish is a textile fabric. The buildings are naturally illuminated from above and artificially lit at night from a low height, emphasising the structure above that becomes a dome of soft light.

The heating strategy is to use the thermal sources available on site and the thermal mass of the proposed terrazzo floor finish, through a straightforward underfloor heating solution. For ventilation and additional heating, an air-ground heat pump is proposed. The same ventilation system can be used for geothermal cooling if necessary.

Human shelter is not permanent, it is slow motion camping.