Jakob + MacFarlane wins competition with Living Landscape

Living Landscape is an innovative, mixed-use building with a minimal carbon footprint, a positive impact on its environment housing a local condensed ecosystem. This urban “O-shaped” project will be the largest wooden structure in Iceland. In the midst of a landscape blessed with a rich ecosystem, this building has been imagined as a sample of the local ecosystem.

Indigenous plants, local boulders, a topography imitating nearby wetlands, a rainwater management system inspired by phenomena observed with stratovolcanoes and the whole contributing to the creation of a rich focal point for the project, the city and the planet. The project is part of the future urbanized context of the Elliðaárvogur-Ártúnshöfði development district, which consists of depolluting an industrial zone in order to build a new neighborhood.

The goal of this initial project is the new urban extension of Reykjavík toward the east, with a living ecosystem-based landscape typology serving as a precedent for future development projects. This ecosystem-based methodology implemented for growing cities has been designed by a team of local and international experts with the idea it can serve as an example to the global community. Diverse activities are housed on the ground floor: 4,100 m² of commercial space, including a restaurant of 300 m² and a kindergarten of 400 m² with 250 m² of protected courtyard in the central landscape.

The second floor is comprised of 4,000 m² of startup space. The upper floors contain 16,000 m² of apartments of varying types (students, elderly people, etc.). The adaptable roof includes five shared greenhouses and can accommodate any sort of activity (fitness club, tearoom, etc.), all linked by an accessible circular path. For strollers, bicycles and all types of conveyance, the central landscape is accessed from the urban space. Source by Jakob + MacFarlane

  • Location: Reykjavik, Iceland
  • Architect: Jakob + MacFarlane
  • Associate architect: T.Ark
  • Team: EFLA (Environmental engineering, structure, planning) / EOC (Wooden Structure) / LANDSLAG (Landscape) / CNRS (Development of sustainable ecological and social system) / ARNARHVOLL (construction)
  • Client: City of Reykjavik, KLASI, HEILD, UPPHAFF
  • Surface: 26,000 m²
  • Calendar: 2019 competition Ongoing studies
  • Images: Jakob + MacFarlane, Courtesy of Metropolis