Sigrún Harpa Þórarinsdóttir is one of the BA-Architecture graduates 2013 of the Icelandic 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.



In her final project Vantage Point – A shelter on a healing journey, Þórarinsdóttir has designed a shelter especially intended for a group of children and youngsters in any type of therapy, in particular related to behavioural problems, drug-related problems, and other mental diseases.

The shelter is located in a slope and built into the rock, surrounded by stones and moss with an overview of Lake Kleifarvatn towards the north.

The building is divided into three units. The highest is the point of entry and is used as a common room and as a dining room.



The lower unit is split into two: One for education and recreation separated with sliding birch-boarded doors; the other for sleeping, furnished by a type of berths which can be closed with a shutter – thus creating a kind of private space.



According to the designer,

“It is important for people to step out of the daily routine and to confront the unpredictable nature by themselves. This makes connection to their inner self easier and helps people to experience life again.”

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

All images by Sigrún Harpa Þórarinsdóttir


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.