Árborg House in Iceland by PK Arkitektar

View from Luxurious Living Room of Árborg House overlooking Glacial Valley

A vast single-storey holiday home overlooking an Icelandic glacial valley, Árborg House is the very definition of contextual architecture. Great care was taken while designing the dwelling to ensure its materials matched its surroundings — in several instances even making use of onsite resources — to help it blend with Iceland’s highly valued scenery.

Árborg House in Moss Hillside Setting

Árborg House sits on a mossy hillside and the displaced moss that had grown where the building now resides was carefully removed, sustained, and then replanted on the roof of the finished house so as to minimise the structure’s environmental footprint.

View Through Árborg House over the River Hvita

Craggy Concrete Exterior of Árborg House with View of Green Roof Vegetation

The concrete exterior of the house has also received a ruffled-ridge finish to help the dwelling blend into the mossy and craggy Icelandic landscape. In fact the gravel aggregate mixed into this concrete for the pitted texture was gathered from the nearby Hvita river further indicating the architects insistence on localised preservation. This roughened surface seems an ideal habitat for moss to colonise further over time, but whether this was PK Arkitektar’s intention remains unclear.

Cantilevered Portion of Árborg House by PK Arkitektar

Árborg House Terrace Overlooking Icelandic Scenery at Night

The site is a moss-covered hill with a view over a quiet bend in the glacier-formed river. In the spring, the river carries the icebergs from the glacier towards the sea some 100km away.PK Arkitektar

Arborg House Kitchen with Teak Interior Cladding

Warm Hued Teak Cladding in Árborg House by PK Arkitektar

The interior spaces are similarly minimalistic, with a rather raw choice of materials. A relatively cold blue-grey concrete is counterbalanced by a warm hued teak which reflects the ‘ice and fire’ duality of Iceland’s geography. Teak cladding is also featured on the exterior terraces and doors, but this has silvered over time to a more muted tone.

View Into Árborg House from Terrace

Árborg House Bathroom with Blue-Grey Concrete and Warm Teak Wood

Árborg House on Hillside in Evening

Infinity Pool of Árborg House in Icelandic Glacial Valley


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