The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

 

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon is built directly into the 800-year-old lava flow at Svartsengi in Grindavík, Iceland. Accordingly, when looking at redeveloping the site, Basalt Architects and Design Group Italia incorporated the concept of lava into their design, along with referencing the water elements of the lagoon that surrounds the site. The hotel consists of a spa carved into the volcanic earth and 62 elegant guest suites surrounded by the Blue Lagoon’s mineral-rich waters, as well as a restaurant dedicated to the reinvention of Iceland’s culinary heritage.

“In totality, this formation conveys the sense that the Retreat is embracing the Blue Lagoon. There is a lagoon layer, a lava layer, and a moss layer,” explain the architects.

The building itself is made of concrete and glass, CorTen rusty metal, and jatoba wood. In order to seamlessly integrate the build into the natural surrounds, the exterior of the entrance hall and some of the rooftops are covered in moss and lava rocks.

 

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

 

Indoors, warm woods contrast with various concrete, rock, and lava surfaces to create an inviting atmosphere whilst maintaining a simple, linear style.

The colour selection reflects the surrounding environment. Furniture is finished with natural materials in shades of green, blue, grey and red to echo the moss, the water, and the oxidized features of lava.

The Suites are surrounded by water in the same way that a moat surrounds a castle. They are built both within the lava and above the lava, straddling the divide between water, earth, moss, and sky.

The architects have attempted to achieve the perception that the building is floating. The suites, ranging in size from 40 to 200 sqm, are essentially one-sided.

 

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

The Retreat Hotel at Blue Lagoon in Grindavík, Iceland | Yellowtrace

 

“The setup is very simple,” explains Thorsteinsson, of Design Group Italia. “We wanted to emphasize the lagoon, the outside. So one-third of each room is a living area by the window, one-third is for the bed, and one-third is the bathing area.”

The spa at the Retreat, a subterranean realm that enables a journey into and through the volcanic earth, connects the Retreat and the Blue Lagoon whilst focusing on their take on Scandinavian luxury, continuing the long tradition of Scandinavian design.

Overall, the team of Icelandic and Italian architects have created a project infused with craftsmanship and attention to detail, focusing on an experience that is heightened by the connection to the senses via the extreme and powerful forces created by nature.

 

 


[Images courtesy of Blue Lagoon.]

 

About The Author

Susanna McArdle

Susanna has a background in Interior Architecture and a passion for writing. Based in Sydney, she has worked both in Asia and Australia designing. An avid writer, it’s hard to know what she prefers more, stringing words together or creating spaces. But one thing she does know, is that she loves doing the both together.

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