After a hard day’s hike in the wilds of Iceland, there’s nothing better than a stylish refuge from the elements and a warming beverage to thaw your body. The drink’s on you, but Stockholm-based architecture studio Utopia Arkitekter has designed the refuge.
Skýli, which means “shelter” in Icelandic, is a conceptual cabin built to withstand the extreme weather conditions of Iceland’s mountain landscape. The structure combines four distinctive pyramidal shapes that resemble a classic tent or the roofs of traditional Icelandic huts. The triangular gables make for a highly durable and stable structure that stands out in the rugged landscape while simultaneously reflecting its characteristic shapes.
The outer shell of Skýli is made from bright blue steel reminiscent of the colourful urban housing architecture of Reykjavik. Four floor-to-ceiling windows open the cabin to the spectacular scenery, ensuring that even when sheltered inside, visitors are never disconnected from the landscape.
“Skýli is designed for pristine environments where sustainable development is of the highest importance,” explained Mattias Litström, founder and creative director of Utopia Arkitekter. “Materials need to be eco-conscious, while also resistant to extreme weather.”
From floor to sharply-pitched ceiling, Utopia Arkitekter refined every detail. Skýli boasts four activity areas: one for cooking, mending and communication, one for eating and storing emergency supplies, and two for rest and sleep. Benches fold out from the walls to be used as beds and sofas, able to sleep up to 15 people. All fittings are custom made and designed to fit in flat packs for easy transportation.
Sustainability was a top consideration for the designers. A solar panel and battery provide energy during times with sufficient sunlight. In bad weather, devices can be powered using a hand crank generator. Rainwater collected from the roof is filtered into self-draining containers in the outer shell and purified. Heating is generated by the people inhabiting the cabin. In the event of an emergency, Skýli is equipped with food supplies, basic medical equipment, and a red alert lamp mounted on the roof.
Unfortunately for eager adventurers, the project was designed for a competition and isn’t yet available for off-the-grid stays. It has been nominated for an award at the World Architecture Festival 2019, however, and with any luck it will go from concept to extreme Airbnb rental soon.
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