"For a holiday house, we wanted to have only what we needed," says Ragnar Marteinsson, who was looking to build a holiday home in West Iceland, specifically between scenic Hafnarfjall mountain and the North Atlantic Ocean. "Nothing more," he continues, "because we spend most of our time outside." Instead of building from scratch in such a remote location, which would have posed a series of challenges, he opted for a prefab design by Latvian firm Manta North.
Between the company’s two customizable offerings, Ragnar started with the flat-roofed Ray model, creating a custom layout by staggering two of the units atop a wrap-around deck. The units are built using eco-friendly cross-laminated timber, specifically Norway spruce, and Ragnar opted for a stained-black facade that blends with the surrounds.
Inside, the 850-square-foot plan features a generous kitchen, two bedrooms, a living room, and two bathrooms. The energy-efficient design touts a thermal performance that’s up to Passive House standards, while heated floors and timber panels with extra insulation keep the home livable year-round. From each room, floor-to-ceiling windows provide views out onto the spectacular location.
Going prefab ultimately meant making less of an impact on the pristine environment. "There’s less disruption on the building suite," attests Manta North architect Reinis Saliņš. "The units can also be built in areas with minimal infrastructure, so they’re a great fit for people who choose to live in an unspoiled, remote, or rugged area."
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