The Þingvellir National Park protects not only the largest lake in Iceland, Þingvallavatn, but also Almannagjá, the canyon formed by the continental drift between the North American and Eurasian plates. This is also a site of tremendous historical importance since Þingvellir is the site where the first “parliament” gathered in 930 AD and it is also the site where in 1944 the proclamation of the Republic of Iceland was declared.
The Munkasteinn summerhouse sits in the middle of a UNESCO protected area, between the lake and the Almannagjá canyon. A cluster of pine trees, keeping it out of sight from the park visitors, hides the 90 sq m wood construction. Situated on a wooden platform that hovers over the irregular landscapes and only touches the ground on a few points, Munkasteinn’s interference with the nature has been kept to a minimum. Although the building is located in a forest, PK Arkitektar opted for the traditional Icelandic corrugated metal cladding, which not only ties the project to local building traditions but also creates reflections from the nearby lake.
Inside the building there is a combined kitchen and dining room area with an adjacent living room, part of which can be converted to an extra bedroom. The interior spaces and the wooden deck created around the house, carefully offer opportunities for the views of the lake from in between the trees.