Sybarite were pleased to be shortlisted for the Bee Breeders Competition for the Iceland Volcano Lookout Point Competition in 2021 – part of the Iceland Competition Series.

Participants were tasked with designing an observation point positioned on the southern edge of Hverfjall in northern Iceland – a landform resulting from a volcanic explosion that left a crater 1km wide and roughly 140 meters deep.

Hverfjall is a popular hiking destination where visitors can easily access many parts of the volcano’s crater via public hiking trails that climb 200m to it’s ridges.

The platform for this observation point was to fit a 10 x 10m base, offering a view from the top of the crater that overlooks Lake Mývatn and the Dimmuborgir Lava fields.                                                                                                     

Sybarite responded to the brief by creating The Eye as an opportunity to experience the enormity of the Hverfjall from an intimate vantage point where emotions and environment collide as you synchronise with the barren and rugged landscape.

The weathered shape and form of the volcano provoked a determination for us not to look further than the contrasts and subtlety of the landscape itself and our response was to ensure no new structure was introduced to the site and that nothing disrupted the terrain.

Tephra would be excavated to make way for The Eye. It is then restoratively returned to site in a smooth repurposed state as a lava aggregate concrete compound which is prefabricated off-site in 8 components to create the observation point. The Eye stands as a metaphor for man and material working in equilibrium – the perfect juxtaposition between rough and honed.

The viewpoint becomes integrated as a homage to the land: the perfect blend of architecture and sculpture in tune with its curved surroundings. It is designed to stand as a dynamic platform, a contemplative refuge to be at one with time and temperature. The Eye serves to preserve a holistic experience, hiking trails remain as they always have and are not marred.

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