Bee Breeders Architecture Competitions has just announced the winners for their Iceland Volcano Museum design competition. 

Located in Northern Iceland, the Volcano Museum is to be placed near Hverfjall volcano in the Dimmuborgir region. The famed volcano has a large, circular crater roughly 140 meters deep and 1,000 meters wide and is estimated to have been created 2500 years ago by a volcanic explosion. The main goal for this exciting project and potential new landmark is to create a stunning space for visitors when exploring the natural landscape site.   

Coming from the organization’s country-based architecture series, this international competition asked participants to propose their best design solution for the architectural building. Submissions needed to include a multi-purpose exhibition hall with café and informational space, the capacity to host 3 to 4 temporary installations simultaneously, an office complex, with 15 to 20 workspaces, meeting rooms, private offices, and open-plan office spaces for employees.  

Here are the Top 3 Winners: 

FIRST PRIZE WINNER: THE WINDOWS OF HVERFJALL – NEW ZEALAND 

Project Authors: Balint Iszak and Csenge Gyorgyi  

The winning submission from New Zealand-based designers Balint Iszak and Csenge Gyorgyi highlights a low-hanging structure with a sunken floorplan allowing guests to still see unobstructed views of the volcano in the distance. “The Windows of Hverfjall” hosts a structure that is sunken four feet below the exterior ground plane serving as a dual function of allowing the sightline of the arriving visitor to be set above the roof plane for direct views of the volcano beyond, as well as endowing inhabitants with the sense of being partially submerged within the ground. Inside, the moody space is broken up into three parts — reception, exhibition, and offices — and will act as a multifunctional destination for visitors as well as the local trekkers. 

SECOND PRIZE WINNER: CRATER II – DENMARK ROYAL DANISH ACADEMY OF FINE ARTS, SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE 

Project Authors: Christian Kamp and Adrian Hildrum 

“Crater II” is a building that takes on the rock formations of its site, blending into the surroundings of rough terrain. The subterranean structure consists of a casted vault set around an open-air space. Interior design elements are simultaneously gothic, modern, and concrete. The project seeks to be encapsulated by the landscape, hidden from view, while paying homage to the nearby Hverfjall.  

THIRD PRIZE WINER: HVERFJALL VOLCANO MUSEUM – POLAND 

Project Authors: Artur Chyra and Malwina Wojcik 

This project is defined by seven linear, opaque masses oriented towards the Hverfjall, and linked by transparent glass elements. The result is a porous building that is visually reduced in scale. Each of these transparent links provides views to the surrounding site. Its main entry is aligned to the existing site path for accessing the volcano by foot, and this central axis divides the ‘private’ office program from the public exhibition hall. A ‘foyer’ space buffers the exhibition hall from the south facade, and so allowing a separate space for viewing the volcano while providing perimeter circulation. The intricate building is topped by a series of beams that form a top-lit grid. 

Read the full interview here 

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