Max Boerman Max Boerman Architectural Designer

In 2017 I joined the "Northern light house" competition with a proposal for several guesthouses and a main building for the host family to enjoy the breathtaking Aurora Borealis, also known as the Northern Light. The project proposes a balanced combination of panoramic views, while still providing a sense of privacy and exclusivity through the playful shape and placement of the buildings. 

Iceland knows a unique topography and the combination of temperate and tundra makes for an exceedingly beautiful and contrasting landscape of fire and ice; hence its nickname, the land of fire and ice. This contrast has been the main theme of the project. The location of the project is next to the Myvatn lake, a shallow eutrophic lake not far from the Krafla volcano. Created by a large basaltic lava eruption 2300 years ago.

The guesthouses are shaped like icebergs, rising from the landscape and providing the guests with privacy on one side, and a stunning view of the Northern light and the lake on the other side. During the day, the guesthouses are smooth and white sculptures, and during the night they glow from the inside. The guesthouses all have their own terrace where they can sit and relax and enjoy in privacy, but also a great view, when the weather is comfortable enough to be outside.

The main building has a more permanent character, which is reflected in the rigid shape and the materialization. The bottom layer of the building is open to the guests and offers several facilities. The top layer offers accommodation for the host family. The 90 degree rotation of the top layer creates a private terrace for the host family on the south, and a covered terrace for the guests facing the lake, where they can enjoy the view while being outside, even in bad weather. The top layer has a large glass fa├žade to create a panoramic view of the lake and the Northern Light for the host family. The theme of fire and ice also plays a part in the main building, where the bottom layer is made of local volcanic rock, and the top layer is made of smooth, white stone with a timber construction, contrasting the rough and dark volcanic stone.