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Hot Spring Pool on Iceland’s Shore overlooking the North Atlantic Ocean

Anabata Media · October 17th, 2022
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Starting from a tiny naturally formed pool on Langisandur Beach, Akranes, the Basalt Architects studio designed a hot spring as an ancient Icelandic tradition. Guðlaug Baths are built into a three-level structure on breakwater rocks facing the North Atlantic Ocean.

View from the beachView from the beach.

Each level of Guðlaug Baths is designed to be an open circular platform that offers a different experience of enjoying the beach. The top deck is the best place for people who want to stop by to see the wide sea view ahead for a while. However, if you want to spend time soaking in hot water, you can go to the main pool on the middle level. Meanwhile, at the lowest level of Guðlaug Baths parallel to the shore, there is a shallow pool with cooler water from the main pool's overflow.

Photostitched image from the edge of middle tierPhotostitched image from the edge of middle tier.

In its design strategy, Basalt Architects integrates Guðlaug Baths with the site condition, which always experiences tides. At high tide, the bottom level will be flooded, and the people in the main pool can feel the sensation of the waves crashing at close range. Meanwhile, the beach pool will again be available for children to adults when the sea has begun to recede.

Family life-summer dayFamily life-summer day.

Waves crashing below your feetWaves crashing below your feet.

Because of the waves and the change of weather, Guðlaug Baths was built with marine-grade concrete material to keep the structure strong and able to survive. In addition, selecting elements from precast concrete helps the construction process to be shorter without compromising its quality. Finally, Basalt Architects added a wooden formwork texture to the outer surface of this bath to represent the ancient fishing boats that were part of the history of sailing on this beach.

Drone shot from the southeast angleDrone shot from the southeast angle.

For Guðlaug Baths to be more in tune with the surrounding context, Basalt Architects also took some stones from the breakwaters on the beach to be used as supporting elements of the pool. One of the stones shaped like a chair is placed in the main pool, while the stone in the lower pool is used to store spotlights that lead to the mini 'waterfall' feature.

Drone shot from a summer dayDrone shot from a summer day.

Basalt Architects believes that Guðlaug Baths is a public space that can improve the quality of life of the surrounding community because it provides outdoor recreational functions oriented towards the present and future users' needs.

Site planSite plan.



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Architecture · Public Space ·