Sydney, AU


Heima: Iceland Trekking Cabins

Heima is a series of trekking cabins, designed to be built in remote locations across Iceland. 

Iceland is defined by its diverse landscapes and unique weather phenomena. It is a place that is constantly shifting, both in the skies and underfoot. This design celebrates Iceland’s precious geography and extraordinary natural beauty. It touches the landscape with lightness and sensitivity.

Our design approach is inspired by traditional Japanese houses, which are formed by the repeatable unit of a tatami mat. In our cabins, a consistently sized module forms bunk units, kitchens, bathrooms, entry zones and window openings. These lightweight units can be joined and assembled to form a series of small to large cabins. 

In essence, each trekking cabin is a single, communal room, much like a traditional yurt or Nordic longhouse. There is a simple gradient of public to private spaces, which radiates from the centre of the room outwards. A table is placed in the heart of the cabin, allowing it to become a place of shared meals and conversation. 

Heima appears as an object within a vast landscape. Its tilted roof lifts up to welcome visitors, and folds down to capture water. The cabin is topped by a polycarbonate lantern, which glows at night.

Each facade is inspired by Iceland’s ethereal, ever-changing weather patterns, abstracting colours from its immediate environment. The panels are formed from polycarbonate, a material that clouds and obscures the building. This affect references Iceland’s steaming geysers and fog-streaked skies.

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Status: Competition Entry
Location: Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland
Firm Role: Concept Design