Modern Icelandic turf houses | PK Arkitektar

A modern version of the traditional Icelandic turf house, this vacation home blends into the landscape. It has three bedrooms in 1,109 sq ft. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

These small houses blend into the picturesque landscape of southwest Iceland. The two vacation homes face a small lake about an hour’s drive east of Reykjavík. In order to preserve the views from the lake, PK Arkitektar designed the houses to be as unobtrusive as possible. To do so, the architects looked to Iceland’s long heritage of turf houses, whose grass roofs sloped down to ground level and merged with the surrounding vegetation.

A modern version of the traditional Icelandic turf house, this vacation home blends into the landscape. It has three bedrooms in 1,109 sq ft. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

The green roof of each house was planted with the original vegetation that was removed from its building site. Soil from the foundation excavation was used to form a berm that joins with the roof to provide a windbreak for the patio. The houses appear to be dug into the ground but that is just an illusion as viewing them from the other side shows that they actually sit at ground level.

A modern version of the traditional Icelandic turf house, this vacation home blends into the landscape. It has three bedrooms in 1,109 sq ft. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

Despite the complexity of the folded roof, the houses have a more or less rectangular plan. The 103 m2 (1,109 ft2) floor plan was designed for efficiency. By having the master bedroom open directly off the living room, only a very short hallway was needed to access the other two bedrooms and the bathroom. The hallway also functions as the entry with a large closet for coats.

A modern version of the traditional Icelandic turf house, this vacation home blends into the landscape. It has three bedrooms in 1,109 sq ft. | www.facebook.com/SmallHouseBliss

The exteriors are clad in vertical strips of charred wood. The same pattern is repeated on the ceilings, except with clear wood. Light fixtures are interspersed among the wood strips. The homes are built on concrete slabs, which were etched with acid and then polished for the finish floor.

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Photographs by Rafael Pinho and Bjarni Kristinson, courtesy of PK Arkitektar. Via Architizer.

Text copyright 2016 SmallHouseBliss. All Rights Reserved.

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