Icelandic architect Palmar Kristmundsson partnered with renowned Danish brand VOLA to create an architectural masterpiece that is an extension of nature itself.
April 19th, 2022
A deeper connection to the natural environment creates a way of life that is richer, more energised and more in tune with the wider world. This philosophy is evident in Iceland’s raw and dramatic landscape, where the natural and man-made environment co-exist in harmony, and demonstrated perfectly by the use of VOLA stainless steel taps in a residential project in Iceland that places nature, materials and sustainability at its core.
Situated on the banks of the river Hvita, two hours east of Reykjavik, Arborg House is an Icelandic masterpiece with panoramic views of the river and the distant mountains. Inspired by the extraordinary landscape, Palmar Kristmundsson from PK Arkitektar has created an extension of nature itself while still being a place for people to live and thrive.
A return to nature
Kristmundsson wanted the building to belong to its surroundings, and for the landscape to come into the building. Links to the nearby glacier-fed river are made through the use of local materials such as moss and rock, including pebbles from the riverbed scattered on the floor of the outdoor pool, while geothermal springs are tapped as a source of natural, renewable energy.
“Water is everything for Iceland,” says Kristmundsson. “It’s in our culture and it underlines the landscape.”
For Kristmundsson, materials and forms can be used to build a relationship with the natural environment. It is no wonder then that he specified VOLA taps throughout Arborg House.
Stainless steel: made to last
Founded in Denmark in 1968, VOLA is built on the fundamentals of environmentally-responsible design and manufacturing. Longevity, durability, timeless aesthetics and enduring functionality are reflected in each VOLA tap, including the iconic HV1 one-handle mixer, with designs that avoid fad, fancy and failure.
VOLA’s defining material is stainless steel, one of the most durable and corrosion-resistant materials on earth. Using techniques handed down through generations, the company creates pure and beautiful forms from stainless steel with textures that echo the natural world.
The way VOLA handles stainless steel highlights its deep understanding and care for the material. Their directional hand-brushing technique is more than just a finish, but an integral part of the design that accentuates shape and form. What results are products that make us feel intimately connected with water and our dependence on it as a life source.
Sustainability that endures
Building into the Icelandic landscape carries a deep responsibility to use the land sustainably. By specifying VOLA taps throughout, Kristmundsson added another feature to Arborg House that will stand the test of time.
Enduring sustainability and a strong respect for nature are key components of VOLA’s design philosophy. During manufacture, VOLA employs methods that minimise environmental impact, with almost all of its waste going back into production. In addition, every product they’ve made since 1968 can be repaired and also has the internal workings updated for optimal performance.
VOLA products can last for generations and have minimal risk of obsolescence, ultimately preventing waste and promoting a more sustainable way of life.
Kristmundsson believes architecture will play a critical role in rebalancing our relationship with nature now and into the future. In Arborg House, Kristmundsson, with the help of VOLA, has created a home that will live in harmony with nature for many years to come.
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