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LOCATION

Iceland, Competition

STATUS

2020

CLIENT

Iceland Competition

TYPOLOGY

INSTITUTIONAL

ROLE

Design Architect, Competition

Midgard Turn (Grjotagia Tower) Iceland Grjotagja marks the western boundary of a fault zone where fissures have extended and faulted after the lava from Jarðbaðshólar formed 2700 years ago. It marks the subaerial portion of the Mid‐Atlantic Ridge, separating the North American from the Eurasian plates at a rate of ~2 cm a year. Upon setting foot at Grjotagja, its rawness is visceral even after millennia. Tangible proof of the earth's persistent and unyielding movement upends our senses on a time and scale beyond us. Still, it is perceivable by evidence left in the topography of the creeping fissure and the fractured basaltic landscape. There is a jarring realization that the ground under our feet is not "grounded" but an inexorable interplay of forces preceding and succeeding us by millennia, redefining the landscape.

No wonder this surreal landscape deeply embedded in Iceland's Old Norse mythology, Midgard or the Middle World of its original Norse settlers, is precariously located in an otherwise hostile wilderness, Jotunheim, subsumed by unworldly forces and threats. The most significant threat was Jormungandr, or Midgardr Serpent, born of their seafaring roots, dwelling in the seas encircling the entirety of Midgard and the consciousness of the Norse mindset. It was Jormungand that the ceaseless earthquakes and terrestrial tectonics were attributed. Though slain by Thor at Ragnarok, his imprint lives on in Iceland's national coat of arms, as in the landscape of Grjotagja and the soul of Iceland.




































The Iceland Cave Tower project embarked on a distinctive design process, creating spiral shapes that seamlessly connected the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates. The tower itself took a captivating turn of 180 degrees, forming intriguing shapes inspired by the geological context. The resolution of this complex design was achieved through the application of parametric design principles. The Iceland Cave Tower stands as a testament to the harmonious integration of architecture and natural formations, showcasing the innovative use of parametric design to capture the dynamic essence of the meeting point between tectonic plates.

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