Located on the north-east corner of Iceland, the remote fjord of Borgarfjörður Eystri is almost as far away from Reykjavík as it is possible to go without leaving the island. Bakkagerði, the fjord’s only town, has a population of around 100 inhabitants but has in recent years enjoyed ever-increasing visits from tourists, many of whom come to see its large puffin colony and other birdlife.

Bakkagerði’s fishing harbour is a six-kilometre drive from the residential area, located by the Hafnarhólmi cliff, which is famous for birdlife. Here visitors enjoy close-up views of puffins and kittiwakes. In recent years the harbour has seen an ever increasing number of tourists, but has lacked facilities for visitors. Thus the municipality decided to hold a competition to improve the current facilities for local fishermen and to add a new visitor centre.

Our proposal conceives of a unique building that could be an attraction in its own right, in addition to fulfilling the needs of its two distinct groups of users. The shape of the building and its interior spaces are inspired by different viewpoints from within the building, and the windows frame these specific views. The building leads the guest through a narrow stairwell into larger and brighter spaces with thoughtfully framed vistas.

Built into a cliff, the building has a visitor’s entrance on the second floor as well as a reception hall with a window framing the horizon on the open sea. An exhibition space features a large window that frames the Hafnarhólmi cliff. On the first floor, a window in a small restaurant looks out onto the unique Dyrfjöll mountains. The ground floor is reserved for the fishermen’s facilities and the rooftop has a 360° viewing platform.


Andri Gunnar Lyngberg Andrésson, Guðni Valberg, Jón Davíð Ásgeirsson


Anna Dröfn Ágústsdóttir


Borgarfjörður Eystri, Iceland


Harbour and Tourist Facilities


120 m2