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Reykjavík, Iceland

Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

The secret in the fog

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

‘Seek the truth. Avoid error. It is not enough to adopt one of these messages, we must have both in mind’ James Williams
The secret lies in the fog. The fog blocks the vision so it´s possible to go wrong. The fog can be both challenging and intimidating. With increased knowledge, experience and training it will be easier to travel through the fog, more fun and full of surprises and constructive experiences. The security increases, difficulties disappear and finally everything clears up. The traveler learns to navigate, he will be self-reliant.

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

To learn and study a new language and become familiar with unfamiliar cultures is also provocative challenge. Even intimidating. Many things are unclear, it´s easy to make mistakes and stray off course. With increased knowledge, experience, research and practice, lighter work, difficulties and problems decrease. The security is increased and finally everything clears up. Strengthening of the scholar, the student learns, he becomes self-reliant.

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

Vigdís Finnbogadóttir has both the confidence and respect of the Icelandic nation. Refinement, respect, trust, and severity are words that come to mind at the same moment. The institution of Vigdís Finnbogadóttir is important in which different languages and different cultures are brought together, examined and investigated without prejudice. The building that holds the organization needs both to reflect its importance and respect, as well as being honorable to Vigdis Finnbogadóttir. Refinement, respect, trust, and severity.
The form of the building is plain and without any act with its reasons. It surrounds the translucent glass façade which, like the fog that surrounds the mountain lends mystery and shuts partly the vision. Early morning is the building a solid and refined, but at the same time a bit vague in the twilight. Gradually the lights urn on in the windows behind the glass facade. The lights shine through, like ray of the sun trying to find their way through the fog, they create some kind of mystique. The building gradually wakes up.

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

For the student or scholar who are taking the first steps towards a new language, new culture and a broader view, the building is wrapped in mystery and challenge. Its attraction is strong. He walks toward the fog, and his heart has both fear and excitement over the deal with the unknown. Once inside, the fog clears. The magnificent open space opens and the vision will be clear. It´s easy to navigate within. The knowledge of the subject increases, the mind is nourished, the student enters into security and will eventually be self-supporting. Journey in the fog of new knowledge will be safe, decisive and full of surprises and constructive experiences.

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

The building
The building is divided into two branches associated with open and bright open space. The main entrance is on the west side of the building. Underpass adjacent to the University at Sudurgata directly related to the open space from the east. The spacious open space in the center of the building creates a fun multi-purpose space where all users and visitors to the Vigdís Finnbogadóttir institjution meet, mix and discuss the issues. There will be international and multicultural fusion, which undoubtedly is one of the goals of the organization. For this reason and because the open space is actually the connection to the building core objectives south and north of Sudurgata, the space is given greater weight within the building.
The many windows of the building are different in sizes, arranged irregularly on the sides. Thus, they reflect the different languages and diverse cultures. The south wing of the building holds the offices and smaller workspaces where teachers as well as meeting rooms and kitchen are located. There is an easy access into the main entrance of the building, as well as two employee entrances. There is also a stairwell entry from the garage and a bike storage in the basement. The height is a minimum of 3 meters in all spaces of the building.

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

The east part of the building host larger spaces such as the Vigdis showroom, the experience and research space, the lecture hall, classrooms, library and other spaces. In addition to the main entry and the underwalk to University Square there are two entrances that connect the open space to open outdoor area to the south.
Easy access to and into the building from all directions for pedestrians and bicycle users to encourage use of environment-friendly means of transportation. There are a large number of parking both in front of the building and in the basement. Bus stop is next to the building of Suðurgata.
Form the building takes into account the potential expansion and how the latter part of it will link to the other university buildings. The open space in the middle of the building is about 50 m2 larger than the spacesheet allows , but we believe it is better due to the central building on campus and will take considerable weight off from the University Square. The whole building is under the total square meter area as requested.

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

Materials
The building is out of concrete and insulated on the outside and lined with a double U-profile glass cladding. The floors and roof are on-site concrete. Interior walls are either relief plaster walls or concrete as required to the load and efficiency. Colors are generally light on the walls and ceilings. The floors are environmentally friendly epoxy floor and has no joints and is therefore very easy to install, operate and repair. Windows are out of aluminum. Handrails are made of semi-transparent safety glass in the open space and steel in the employee stairwell.

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

Environment
The design of the building are very environmental friendly. Utilization of the daylight, natural ventilation and the impact of construction and use of the environment are a major factor in the final outcome.
Each room of the building enjoys daylight and natural airflow. In most cases this is a one-sided mechanical ventilation which is controlled in each room individually. It is possible to cool the inlet air on the ground floor with natural cooling. With the scale spaces (height versus depth) is guaranteed to start air and daylight is used most effectively. In the ceiling of the open space is an “air chimney” that propels natural ventilation with the emission of heated indoor air.
Heat from the sun is used as far as possible to heat the sun and enjoying the traditional source of heat. Glass coating around the building ensures that it is possible to open windows on all sides regardless of wind direction and wind. Depth of the windows and the facade covering the spaces facing towards the sun protects the spaces for overheating but still let in daylight and do not block the view.

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

Water from the roof of the building will be collected in a tank and then used where possible, e.g in toilets, food preparation, laundry, showers, watering plants and ponds outdoors. Water and electricity will be well monitored. Taps in toilets will be be automatic and lights controlled by light and motion sensors. The energy consumption of lighting is minimized by using low power light source and a rich light controller that takes flexibility daylight into the workspace. By controlling the brightness and color temperature according to the daylight it is trying to influence the human body clock because it is known that light affects the body through the eye. Good facilities is for sorting waste.

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

The glass facade is both strong and maintenance free and protects the building for erosion and encroachment. It has also very high heat and sound insulating effect. Windows are out of aluminum and the glass have the appropriate U-values. The glass lies outside of the window post and protects them against the further erosion. In this way, it comes with great savings in the form of low maintenance and running costs during the lifetime of the building and positive environmental impact in the long run. (LCC)

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

The landscape
When designing the site around the building, the focus of it encourages its users to the outdoors. The position of the building on the site, its form and trees along Suðurgata provide good shelter from the prevailing wind directions. On a sunny and sheltered outside area is created semi-sunken and cascade areas. Mixing elements of different sizes with different textures and materials, as the mixture of cultures which the building itself hosts. In between the pedestals are small ponds like the seas of the world separate difference continents. Here is a good idea to sit down reading and / or chat with others over lunch or just to nourish your mind and to be!

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

Arkiteó — Vigdísar Finnbogadóttur

Reuse-and-restoration