Hrafnhildur Magnúsdóttir is a 2013 BA-Architecture graduate of the Iceland Academy of the Arts.

The task for all BA students was to design a refuge, a cairn on the journey of knowledge and self reflection that serves as a setting for educational camps for school groups during the winter and a resting place for travelers on their hiking pilgrimage during summers.

Set in the vicinity of lake Kleifarvatn, the building incarnates a stopover on a path that stretches along the continental drift ridge across the island, from Reykjanes in the south to Axarfjörður in the North.

Here is Magnúsdóttir’s design Refuge.

According to the designer,

The building lies crosswise on the pilgrim’s journey, disconnecting him from his linear journey from a to b. Stretching out into the lake it takes his mind off both things past and what lies ahead and shifts his focus, mind and body to the present.


The building provides various places for the pilgrim to respond to own rhythms and state at each time. The axis reaching out to the lake is built up by a common space where the pilgrims gather and share with one another, a hall opening out to a porch. Protruding out of the public axis, there is a platform where the pilgrim can withdraw from the crowd into individual cabins that can either be opened up or closed completely depending on the needs of the dweller.


In the wintertime the refuge shelters children on an exploratory expedition with their classmates. The children adapt the building to their needs as a whole, poke into the being of the pilgrim by combining the separate cabins into the public area so they become a common sleep lounge and at the same time put themselves in the footsteps of the pilgrim in search of coherence.



The project was exhibited at Reykjavik Art Museum in the LHÍ Student Show 2013.


Images Courtesy of the designer


This is our second edition of our yearly round-up of final projects by brand new designers graduating from the Iceland Academy of the Arts.