Myvatn Marvel: Studio RE+N’s Epic Volcano Museum

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In the heart of the awe-inspiring Myvatn region in Iceland, the Iceland Volcano Museum, a brainchild of Studio RE+N, emerges as a tribute to the breathtaking grandeur of its surroundings. Nestled in a region celebrated for its natural wonders, this museum seamlessly integrates into the landscape with its innovative design and organic features.

Harmony with Nature

Studio RE+N’s Project architect, Yuting Zhang, explains that the museum’s design is a harmonious blend with the landscape, providing visitors and locals a unique chance to connect with their environment. The inclined roof, rising organically from the earth, minimizes disruption to the site, earning the museum recognition as the winner of the 2023 Architecture MasterPrize in the Conceptual Architecture category.

Architectural Poetry

Inspired by natural elements like volcanic craters, hot spring baths, and lakes, the museum’s circular structure mirrors the elliptical shape of Hverfjall and Dimmuborgir Lava Fields. The double-sloped elliptical volume creates a fluid space merging indoors with outdoors, forming a terraced performance deck for panoramic views. A continuous ring of exhibition spaces encircles a reflecting pool, symbolizing Myvatn’s culture.

Wandering Through Art and Nature

Visitors traverse three distinct pathways within the museum. A descending ramp at the entrance separates them symbolically from the mundane world, leading to an interior gallery. An exterior walkable roof serves as an observation deck, providing breathtaking views, while an outdoor park loop trail showcases large-scale sculptures amidst the dynamic landscape.

Façade and Materials

The museum’s facade, visually permeable and repetitive, fosters a connection with the landscape. Optimally oriented louvers vary to maximize sunlight conservation, echoing the linear patterns in Icelandic architecture. The materials used establish a timeless dialogue with the landscape, creating a perfect backdrop for the art pieces displayed in the multi-purpose exhibition hall.

Holistic Experience

The Iceland Volcano Museum stands as a testament to the respect for Myvatn’s unique landscape, offering visitors an immersive encounter with Icelandic nature and culture. It’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through the wonders that define Myvatn’s splendor.

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