The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior PhotographyThe Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, FacadeThe Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior Photography, FacadeThe Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior Photography+ 53

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior Photography
© Ragnar Th Sigurðsson/Arctic Images

Text description provided by the architects. The Blue Lagoon Retreat offers a unique way to experience Iceland’s ancient seaside culture. The task was to push the boundaries between nature, architecture and experience, to create a place where customers feel a connection to the sublime Icelandic nature.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Coast
© Ragnar Th Sigurðsson/Arctic Images
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Image 40 of 53
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The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior Photography, Facade
© Ari Magg

The Retreat is an extension of the main Blue Lagoon complex. Built directly into a 755-year-old lava flow in the heart of Reykjanes UNESCO Global Geopark, the Retreat features an underground spa, geothermal lagoon, restaurant and 62-suite hotel surrounded by the iconic seawaters of the Blue Lagoon.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior Photography, Windows, Facade
© Ari Magg
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Image 42 of 53
Axonometric plan
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior Photography, Facade
© Cindy Run Xiao Li

From the healing water in the lagoons to the electricity that powers the resort, Blue Lagoon draws its energy from the earth’s geothermal resources. Retirement well-being is inseparable from the source of renewable energy from the Svartsengi Resource Park, a global pioneer in the sustainable use of geothermal resource flows.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Interior Photography, Windows
© Giorgio Possenti
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Image 49 of 53
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The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Interior photography, windows, table, chair
© Giorgio Possenti

Days were spent exploring the site, studying the earth and letting the cracks and cracks reveal how best to present the program. Finally, it manifested as a one-to-one chain drawing over the rugged lava field, defining the restraining boundary that would protect the fragile environment from damage during construction. Interesting lava formations were encountered during the earthworks, forcing us to revise our plans to incorporate these unexpected features. To some extent, the groundwork was both the final interior finish and the landscaping.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects – Interior Photography
© Ari Magg
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Image 50 of 53
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The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects – Interior Photography
© Ari Magg

This process was contrary to the typical way of working, where changes and experimentation during construction are generally undesirable. Improvisation was fundamental in the unique design process of the retreat, requiring everyone; designers, clients and contractors share the same patient and respectful vision. The site’s treasures, mineral-rich water, rough lava and age-old moss, become the focal point of every space in the building, contributing to the psychological renewal of its users, as they feel connected to the primordial forces of Icelandic nature. in the cocooning comfort of the Retreat.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects – Interior Photography
© Ragnar Th Sigurðsson/Arctic Images
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Image 47 of 53
North elevation
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Interior photography, door, windows
© Ragnar Th Sigurðsson/Arctic Images

The Retreat is primarily made of concrete, much of which is precast to reduce the environmental stress of on-site construction. Concrete varies from textured off-white in the lobby to smooth dark gray in the depths of the spa, echoing the bare lava walls. Throughout the complex, perforated facades and interior screens evoke the natural patterns that emerge when the air pockets locked inside lava rocks are revealed. The dark terrazzo floors were created using local sand and lava rock. The active ingredients of the Blue Lagoon are silica, blue algae and mineral salt. They prove difficult for many traditional building components, limiting the palette of materials to withstand this environment and ensure longevity.

The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Exterior Photography
© Giorgio Possenti
The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Image 48 of 53
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The Retreat at Blue Lagoon Iceland / BASALT Architects - Interior photography, bathroom, windows, chair, beam
© Ari Magg

Warm wood textures are juxtaposed with concrete and lava surfaces to create an authentic and inviting atmosphere. The subtle profusion of raw, tactile and natural materials permeate every detail of the structure, producing a realm of deep comfort inspired by the landscape. Human-centered lighting preserves the enchantments of Iceland’s natural light while creating energizing, relaxing and engaging artificial light.

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