A Villain's Wet Dream

While we're looking forward to cover the mysterious epicness of Iceland for issue 12, we came across these breathtaking renderings of architectural visualiser, Alex Hogrefe’s, concrete retreat cut into the edge of a remote clifftop in Iceland.

As well as offering an architectural approach unlike anything we’ve ever seen before, it has a distinct villain like quality to it. The structure's location combined with the cold and massive strictness of the concrete, looks like something from a James Bond-movie-bad-guy’s wet dream. As most of the structure is designed to be build inside the cliffs and its gigantic cracks, it appears almost invisible from a ground perspective.

Anyway, the villain association has nothing to do with Hogrefe’s own approach, as the building initially aims to function as quite the opposite; a meditative place of retreat with private rooms for visitors and access to the surrounding natural landscape.  

Hogrefe stated to dezeen.com: «The major question behind the design is how to have a dialect with the landscape in such a way as to not simply plop a structure onto the cliff, but instead engage the landscape by calling on inspiration of the surrounding landforms». 

Further he explains; «This move minimizes the visibility of the structure from the sea and from the cliff itself, lessening the interruption of the natural cliff profile.»

The building is designed to demonstrate some of the visualization techniques Hogrefe uses in his work, focusing on lighting, texture and atmosphere. If it’s to be built or not is yet unknown. We'll keep our fingers and toes crossed.