Icelandic Architecture

I wrote about architecture yesterday and I’m going to do it again today.

I’ve traveled around most parts of Scandinavia quite a bit. Houses in Norway, Sweden and Denmark are always the cutest little cabins in fierce red, yellow or blue. They’re proudly different from other countries and profoundly Scandinavian. They sit comfortably in the surround forest-y, lake-y surroundings in those countries.

By contrast buildings in Iceland are harsh ugly slabs of concrete and aluminium. There’s no inspiring Ikea-style cabins but dark and depressing utilitarian buildings. They seem to be built using the cheapest and readily available materials without any consideration for style or design.

Funnily enough this does actually work well with the sparse, barbaric and rough nature in Iceland. The open planes, unforgiving landscapes and treeless vistas wouldn’t be suitable for timid little wooden sheds. You need something more concrete.

But why do most buildings need to look like 1960’s era Soviet Union flats. Why do the Icelandic people seem to absolutely not care about style?

It might be because they’re too busy battling the elements to care about what their house looks like. It’s the middle of summer here in Egilsstaðir and it’s a positively shirts-off 10 degrees here during the day with heavy winds and rain.

Or maybe the Islanders just didn’t get the design sensibility that their other Scandinavian neighbours got.

It doesn’t really matter anyway because you don’t go to Iceland to look at houses. You come here to have an awesome, thrilling and fun holiday. That’s exactly what we’re doing.