The Iceland Tower project is our response to a competition for a viewing tower and interpretive facility at the Grjótagjá Cave in Iceland. The site is located adjacent to the fault line separating the North American Plate and the Eurasian Plate in a seemingly limitless and baren landscape. Creating a sense of place in this vast landscape led to a circular building with a semi-enclosed courtyard facing the cave entrance. Referencing the fault itself is the path that leads from the parking area on adjacent higher ground, running through the roof, and ending in a viewing platform overlooking the cave entrance, fault, and landscape.
The simple form of the building is a continuous planted roof spiraling up to a high outdoor terrace at the spiral’s apex. To blend into the landscape and survive the harsh environment the building is covered in large panels of black ceramic tiles. Inside, a small kitchen, café, gift shop, gallery and lecture room are arranged in the circular plan around the outdoor courtyard.