APR Institutional Building (Concept)

Second Award – Ice’n’Rock by Minarc

Global Future Design Awards 2019
Second Award
Category: Institutional Building (Concept)
Firm: Minarc
Architect: Minarc
Team: Tryggvi Thorsteinsson, Erla Dögg Ingjaldsdottir
Country: United States

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Icelandic nature is both peaceful and intimidating with high contrasts in both coloring and textures.
Nature has shaped our environment for centuries and both the color scheme and the appearance of the building takes inspiration from the surrounding environment, while taking into account Icelandic nature and the center of Reykjavik, where both the inhabitants of the city and tourists experience the Icelandic nature and its usefulness through the connection towards the history of the country.

The form of the addition is drawn from the slopes of Esja, the mountain that can be seen from the buildings windows. The basalt is a symbol for the Icelandic rock and local Icelandic choice of material. The light cladding of the new building (the hatch) is the claw-lacquered Icelandic winter for preservation. The cladding is an ecological transparent panelite lining incorporating daylight without losing its insulation value.

A convex mirror inspired by the Icelandic desert  “Sprengisandur” is located on the new building to reflect the old house’s architecture as a reference to the past and the connections between the old and the new contemporary building. The exterior material of the connecting building is inspired by “Skógafoss” waterfall and will set an expression to the city center. The new building stands on pillars that point to the main pillars from Iceland’s first settler Ingólfur Arnarson.  The top pillars “landed” in Reykjavik.

The main objective of the design of the annex building is to reflect the elaborate architecture, the functional role of the house and the connection of Icelandic nature to the building itself. The idea is respect for the unspoiled nature, which is under attack.

Much emphasis is placed on making the environment around the building fun and exciting and emphasizing that internal and external spaces work together. The proposal has an outdoor area on the north side of the building where the idea is that during the summer season you can enjoy sitting outside with a landscaped area on the 3rd floor of the building. The outdoor area will make the working environment alive and encourage employees to utilize the building better.


The authors emphasize eco-thinking and re-use where the BREEAM certification system is used as a guideline. Renewable materials are assumed to be used where possible along with natural local materials contained in adjacent environments. It will be ensured that the quality of sound, ventilation and heat control is good as well as the utilization of daylight and lighting. Natural daylight will cover at least 75% of the interior of the house, along with the emphasis on natural ventilation. The prerequisites for the design are to minimize the environmental impact of all the inputs and the operating house in the long term.

Ergonomic design, good interrelationship and the well-being of the staff is at the forefront of the organizational structure. Internal flow is designed with safety in the first place as each departmental head has its own height. Between security areas there is a secure understanding.