Stöðin, Roadside Stop

Project: Roadside Stop, 320m2, Borgarnes, Iceland

Status: Completed 2012, Nominated for the Mies van der Rohe Awards, 2013. 

Client: Skeljungur hf

Collaborators: AOK (on interior), Ferill (structuarl & HVAC), Hnit (traffic analysis)

Image credits: Kristinn Magnússon

“Stöðin”, a roadside stop in the Icelandic countryside, is a conjoined restaurant, drive-through, convenience store and gas station.  Icelandic culture is in many ways shaped by American influences due to the 65-year long presence of an American army base in the country. Stöðin addresses this cultural relationship by incorporating architectural elements from the American diner that contrast the traditional Icelandic building method of in situ cast concrete. The exposed concrete of the exterior bestows the diner with a permanence unknown by its American counterparts creating a friction between its streamlined aesthetics and the rustic materiality’s gravity. An elongated bar-desk transforms into seating arrangements and characterizes the semicircular restaurant, which offers generous panoramic views of the scenic fjord Borgarfjörður while the curvilinear form allows for a smooth circulation of cars outside.

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