The caves of northern Iceland are popular tourist spots, with thermal pools, breathtaking landscape, and backdrops made famous by Game of Thrones. Grjótagjá is a collection of three caves which are located near each other and have been a popular bathing spot for locals since the 1940s.
Nearby Vogagjá is located on the same fissure, about 800m south, and became a popular bathing spot in 1990 when Grjótagjá’s waters were heated by volcanic activity to upwards of 60 degrees. Vogagjá remains very busy to this day, with visitors often ignoring signs from landowners prohibiting bathing in the waters. With so many tourists visiting and walking around in search of the caves, the lava field has sustained significant damage, and the many crowds of tourists remain difficult for landowners to control.
The Iceland Cave Tower competition is the fourth in Bee Breeders series of architecture competitions set in Iceland, and is being run in partnership with the Landeigendur Voga ehf (landowners of Vogar farmland). For this competition, participants are tasked with creating designs for a stopping point for tourists to visit before exploring the caves. The jury is looking for designs for a viewing tower, one that can act as a landmark visible from a distance, as well as offering visitors views of the surroundings from its viewing platform.
As the tower will be straddling two continents, Europe and North America, visitors should be made aware of this fact upon entrance. The base of the tower should be able to accommodate a small visitor centre consisting of a one-person office and a small café. Participants are free to propose any additional functions, either including them all in one building, or designing separate structures.
The Landowners of Vogar farmland are also looking for a design solution for the local walking paths in order to better preserve the fragile natural surroundings. Participants are asked to create a path module that could be replicated throughout the terrain.
As winning designs will be put forward for consideration for construction, it is vital that solutions be eco-friendly in both their construction and operation.
3 winning proposals, 3 special award recipients and 6 honourable mentions will be selected. Bee Breeders will award a total of 10,000 € in prize money to competition winners as follows:
1st Prize – 5,000 €
2nd Prize – 2,000 €
3rd Prize – 1,000 €
Vogafjós Farm Resort Favourite” Award – 1,000 €
ARCHHIVE Student Award – 500 € + 50 € gift card at ARCHHIVE BOOKS
Bee Breeders Green Award – 500 €