The Iceland Trekking Cabin provokes consideration of architecture’s rudiments. This includes most specifically provision for enclosure, place, and social collectivity. These three issues form the conceptual framework and challenge of the brief. The project requires entrants to imagine a versatile architecture for sheltering travelers in a vast, dynamic landscape defined by topographic contrast and ecological variation; associated with cultural folklore, wonder and imagination. As a structure for nomads and backpackers, the project is culturally precedented, although urbanely by the hostel. Within the context of fjords, lava fields, glaciers, and mountains, and accompanied by the respective trekking ethos, leaving only footprints, the nearest architectural paradigm is perhaps that of a tent.
This is a project that necessitates consideration of polarities: a supple and dexterous yet protected architecture, sensitive to the landscape though guarded from its severity, accommodating for community, but in the company of strangers. Addressing these concerns, successful projects were noted as tactful and concise, reasonably achievable within the constraints of function and site, and recognized for challenging conceptions of utility and form, considering innovation of material and technique over generic application or assumptions of vernacularism. Selected projects are distinguished by an inventive pragmatism, singular in thought and purpose, of an imagination akin to the legend and lore associated with Iceland’s boreal landscape.