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Architecture Across Iceland, Scotland, and Ireland

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It is far too easy to stick with England in terms of exciting modern architecture, but you would be remiss to skip the fantastic buildings to be found farther north.
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  An architect and artist flee Dublin for the countryside to build a biodegradable house and raise their children. Atop a living module that contains a kitchen and eating and living areas, resident Dominic Stevens waters the sod roof, which, like the rest of the house, is a perennial work in progress. Photo by Cornelius Scriba.

    An architect and artist flee Dublin for the countryside to build a biodegradable house and raise their children. Atop a living module that contains a kitchen and eating and living areas, resident Dominic Stevens waters the sod roof, which, like the rest of the house, is a perennial work in progress. Photo by Cornelius Scriba.

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  Made of hardy Scottish materials and holding a Japanese heart, this Edinburgh house shows that two architects from disparate cultures can design a home that bridges the gap. The family sits around, and under in the case of four-year-old Kaz’ma, the sunken table for a snack. Makiko made the covers of the mats her mother sent from Japan by hand. The black lamp is from Ikea. Photo by Ben Anders.

    Made of hardy Scottish materials and holding a Japanese heart, this Edinburgh house shows that two architects from disparate cultures can design a home that bridges the gap. The family sits around, and under in the case of four-year-old Kaz’ma, the sunken table for a snack. Makiko made the covers of the mats her mother sent from Japan by hand. The black lamp is from Ikea. Photo by Ben Anders.

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  In the Hebrides, an archipelago off Scotland’s northwest coast, longhouses—narrow single-room dwellings—have been part of the regional vernacular for more than 1,000 years. Historically, builders used what was available from the land—namely stone, turf, and thatch—to craft the pitched-roof structures. Dualchas Architects, a local firm with offices in Glasgow and on the Isle of Skye, drew from this no-nonsense typology when they designed a modern home for writer, London Business School professor, and practicing Buddhist Dominic Houlder. Photo by Andrew Lee.

    In the Hebrides, an archipelago off Scotland’s northwest coast, longhouses—narrow single-room dwellings—have been part of the regional vernacular for more than 1,000 years. Historically, builders used what was available from the land—namely stone, turf, and thatch—to craft the pitched-roof structures. Dualchas Architects, a local firm with offices in Glasgow and on the Isle of Skye, drew from this no-nonsense typology when they designed a modern home for writer, London Business School professor, and practicing Buddhist Dominic Houlder. Photo by Andrew Lee.

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  What do creatives see in abandoned docks and old fishing sheds? Opportunity. Now the City of Reykjavik is working with local designers to makeover its old fishing harbor into Iceland’s first design district. Folks from the Iceland Design Centre tend to identify the “Design District” as starting at least several blocks west of the magnificent Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center (shown). 

    What do creatives see in abandoned docks and old fishing sheds? Opportunity. Now the City of Reykjavik is working with local designers to makeover its old fishing harbor into Iceland’s first design district. Folks from the Iceland Design Centre tend to identify the “Design District” as starting at least several blocks west of the magnificent Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Center (shown). 

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  The winner of the AIA Los Angeles Restaurant Design Awards held at Dwell on Design was Minarc, with their Northern Lights Bar in Iceland. 

    The winner of the AIA Los Angeles Restaurant Design Awards held at Dwell on Design was Minarc, with their Northern Lights Bar in Iceland. 

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  Kex is the Icelandic word for biscuit, and the 132-guest hostel was built in an old biscuit factory on the Reykjavik shore overlooking Mt. Esja in the distance.

    Kex is the Icelandic word for biscuit, and the 132-guest hostel was built in an old biscuit factory on the Reykjavik shore overlooking Mt. Esja in the distance.

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