The Blue Lagoon was an accidental discovery. Lore has it that, in the 1970s, a worker from a geothermal plant was suffering from psoriasis and decided to take a dip in the super-warm waters, a byproduct of the plant. Immediately his skin felt better, and soon others were taking the plunge. By 2005, the Blue Lagoon Clinic and Spa opened at the site, designed by architect Sigríður Sigþórsdóttir. Fast-forward to present day, and 2,500 people visit daily, making the Blue Lagoon one of Iceland’s most popular tourist attractions. And it’s about to get even bigger—Sigþórsdóttir’s firm, BASALT Architects, in collaboration with Design Group Italia, is hard at work on the site, readying it for the next phase—a new five-star hotel with 60 rooms, slated to open in 2017. Here, the architect shares background on the unique challenges of a most unusual site.
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