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An Icelandic masterpiece

When creating Arborg House, Icelandic architect Palmar Kristmundsson of PK Arkitektar was inspired primarily by the extraordinary landscape. Whatever was built here had to be part of it, become an extension of nature itself and still be a place where people could live and prosper. As Palmar says, ” It’s as if the landscape was lifted up and we put the house on top of it.”

Located on the banks of the Hvita River, two hours east of Reykjavik, the house has panoramic views of the river and mountains in the distance. But the relationship between building and landscape goes much deeper than that.

The glacier-fed river plays an important role in connecting the house to the landscape. This is the same river that creates the famous Gullfoss waterfall and eventually leads to the sea, so it is fitting that the geothermal springs become an energy source for the house itself. Local materials such as moss and rock are everywhere, including pebbles from the riverbed scattered across the bottom of the outdoor pool.

The power of landscape
“Nature is always bigger than yourself.” Palmar Kristmundsson, PK Arkitektar

Iceland is not the easiest of environments – a constant reminder that the power of nature is greater than anything we can imagine. It is also a timely reminder that nature’s resources are not infinite and that it is our responsibility to use them with care. That includes how we work with natural materials, making sure we respect them and maximize their longevity.

At VOLA, we have always understood that this responsibility is a collective responsibility, something we can work on together to ensure a more environmentally stable future.

Everything we do is based on this ethos and while sometimes it is not the easiest way, we know it is the right way.

It’s not only in the way we produce – e.g., recycling waste materials – but also in our design. Every product we have made since 1968 can be repaired and the interior has also been updated for optimal performance. Each update is cross-compatible because it stays within the original design proportions and aesthetics, and always will.

This means VOLA products last for generations and have minimal risk of obsolescence or replacement, ultimately avoiding waste and promoting a more sustainable way of life.

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