ART + ARCHITECTURE: Eliasson Ecospatial Centre


Jay Starnino

ARCH 501

IN DIALOGUE: ART + ARCHITECTURE Art + Architecture required design research into a given artist, from which themes were to influence architectural design. Nestled into the rolling mountains of Southern Iceland 3hrs from Reykjavik, the Eliasson Ecospatial Centre was conceived as an educational retreat for artists, architects, and designers, while maintaining its connection to place as a warm refuge for weary travelers in the rugged Icelandic expanse. Hosting monthly workshops led by professionals from artist Olafur Eliasson’s studio, the space is an intersection between natural and built environments, between professional artists and the public, between laboratory and studio. The building draws its post + beam construction and simple facades anchored into the volcanic earth from the Icelandic vernacular. Glazed openings provide an immersion with the immediate landscape, the vast black sands of the Myrdalssandur glacial plain to the East, and the Katla Volcano to the West. Private studio and workshop spaces are connected to the public gallery by means of a cozy restaurant and cantilevered wooden deck, providing social or introspective opportunities. There are 14 residences, a sauna, and natural hotpools for those staying the night. A 64-page book, a furniture design, and a physical material vessel were completed as part of the exploration of Olafur Eliasson’s work, a thematic motivation in the design style.