Home to Iceland’s famed Black Lava Fields, the Dimmuborgir region is one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations. Coming from the Icelandic word for ‘Dark Castles,’ the name makes for a fitting choice to describe the imposing black rock formations resulting from a 2,300-year-old volcanic eruption. In order to find a visitor center that would do proper justice to such a stunning locale, Bee Breeders organized an international architecture competition. This is the winning design.
Named ‘Cast In Fire,’ the project was designed by Danish architect Mikkel Vadstrup Schmidt. It features a striking angular steel exterior meant to represent the harsh surrounding landscape. However, on the inside, the visitor center is comparatively inviting. Upon entry, visitors will pass beneath a central skylight meant to represent the volcano’s crater. As they move around the facility, they’ll find an interior made largely from light wood — a striking contrast to the bleak environment just outside the panoramic windows. Furnished with halved boulders sourced from nearby rock formations, visitors can enjoy the view of the lava fields while seated next to the warmth of a fireplace. And when the weather allows it, there’s a large outer terrace perfect for taking in the view.
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