architect duo studio heima has completed ‘aska’, a 21 sqm cabin clad in charred wood, in northern iceland. surrounded by lava formations, hot springs and volcanoes, ‘aska’ is the first of a series of sustainable cabins designed to populate the natural landscape around lake mývatn. inside, the tiny dwelling is entirely covered with light pine-plywood, which adds light and warmth while softly contrasting the dark cladding of its exterior.all images by auðunn nielsson unless stated otherwise
studio heima has set ‘aska’ within the natural landscape around lake mývatn, in a site whose topography is geothermally active and features lava formations, volcanoes and hot springs. the cabin’s name – aska, which translates to ash – draws from the icelandic volcanoes, where ash and lava lay like a blanket in the landscape. the 21 sqm dwelling is covered with burned pine wood cladding according to the ancient japanese technique of shou sugi ban, where the material’s surface is protected by charring the outer layer of the timber. ‘using this technique, a sustainable and robust façade with a long life is produced from entirely natural materials,’ notes the danish-icelandic studio.
inside, the cabin encloses a double bedroom, private bath and an open plan kitchen, from which there is direct access to a terrace through a large sliding door. the small footprint of the house is balanced with a tall ceiling height, so the interior of the cabin feels spacious and comfortable. custom design furniture and bespoke inbuilt solutions complete the space, while a large window in the kitchen area offers direct views to the natural surroundings, including lake mývatn and the hverfjall volcano.image by trym sannes
‘aska is part of a bigger masterplan – a campsite in the common landscapes of iceland – that enhances the spirit of the natural settings, while inserting an architectural piece, a place to stay, sleep and enjoy the unique environment,’ say arichitects gisladottir and berntsen.
designboom | architecture & design magazine