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Following the terrain. The design of a full green restaurant inscribed in the harsh Icelandic climate

04 of March '22

We present another greenhouse project with a restaurant in Iceland, which has been shortlisted for the Iceland Greenhouse Restaurant competition organized by Bee Breeders. Katarzyna Drągowska and Eliza Lasek, architecture students at the Warsaw University of Technology, are responsible for the Following the Terrain project - an object that fits into the Icelandic environment.

As part of the Iceland Greenhouse Restaurant competition, participants were tasked with designing a greenhouse restaurant with space for one hundred visitors. Due to the lack of fresh, locally grown food in Iceland, especially during the winter months, the organizers required a design for a complex that would serve its function year-round. The building would be built on the Vogafjós farm and would allow the cultivation of vegetables and fruits, which would then be served in the restaurant along with local products.

For detailed guidelines and the jury, we wrote about the Samkomuhús project by Agnieszka Grzemska, Jakub Wichtowski and Jan Zielinski of UAP, which was also shortlisted.

Projekt Following the terrain, wnętrze restauracji

The designed complex centers around a center,
which is formed by a main hall with a representative staircase

© Katarzyna Drągowska, Eliza Lasek

PW students' project on the shortlist

Bee Breeders, together with the jury, selected proposals from among submissions from around the world that were based on a thoughtful idea and represented a range of ideas on sustainable design, landscape integration and new hybrid typologies for food growth and gastronomy. Among them, the Following the terrain project by Katarzyna Drągowska and Eliza Lasek, students in the engineering semester of English-language studies at the Faculty of Architecture, Warsaw University of Technology, was shortlisted for the competition.

 Projekt Following the terrain, zagospodarowanie terenu i aksonometria

The design of the restaurant, along with the greenhouse, follows the lay of the land

© Katarzyna Drągowska, Eliza Lasek

building following the terrain

Following the terrain , the project of a greenhouse along with a restaurant by students of the Warsaw University of Technology is based on the concept of creating a building that fits in with the surroundings - in terms of fitting in with the terrain, but also in terms of the appropriate choice of materials and colors. The designed complex centers around the center, which forms the main hall with a representative staircase, while opening in many directions to the surroundings.

 Projekt Following the terrain, rzut parteru

design Following the terrain, first floor plan

© Katarzyna Drągowska, Eliza Lasek

For the authors, a very important factor shaping the design of the building was the proper lighting of the greenhouse. They managed to achieve this by placing this part on a higher level. An additional advantage of this type of arrangement is the possibility to use two types of access roads to the complex - one for guests located on the side of the restaurant, and another for employees and technical transport located on the side of the greenhouse.

Projekt Following the terrain, wnętrze, widok na szklarnię

The greenhouse is located on the higher level of the building

© Katarzyna Drągowska, Eliza Lasek

view openings

The location of the plot in the vicinity of important elements, such as Lake Mývatn, Mývatn Baths and the Hverfjall volcano, influenced our decision to rotate the building and direct the views from the most important spaces of the building in these directions. In this case, the central part of the building, along with the staircase and internal greenery, acts as the core or heart of the building, concentrating the most important functions and spaces. The connector allows visitors to enter the upper level of the restaurant and directly observe the life of the greenhouse through a transparent wall, the authors say.

From the restaurant you can admire Lake Mývatn and the Hverfjall volcano

© Katarzyna Drągowska, Eliza Lasek

multitasking pumice stone

The students used numerous solutions to streamline operations so that the building would be, as energy-efficient as possible. Pumice, which is a local material, was used for the construction of the restaurant, and additionally for fertilizing the plants.

Due to the numerous qualities that pumice has, and in particular because of its good thermal insulation, it can be used on many levels to minimize the cost of construction and production of the various elements of the structure, the designers add.

Projekt Following the terrain, panele wykonane z pumeksu

Pumice was used in the construction of the restaurant

© Katarzyna Drągowska, Eliza Lasek

In addition, geothermal energy was used for central heating, hot water and electricity.

Read also about other projects of unusual buildings in Iceland: aSPA CENTER by Pawel Danielak, a sauna CIRCLE OF NATURE, facilities for viewing theAurora Polaris by Wave Architecture and ICELAND VOLCANO MUSEUMdesigned by Gaska Studio.

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