4B: Dreki Spa and Lounge

Project Title: Dreki Spa and Lounge

4B Design Studio: Andrew Levitt

Date: Summer 2015

The Spa at Dreki was the design project of the 4B Studio at UWSA. The design problem is how to address the remoteness and extreme site conditions of a place like Dreki. Dreki is a small camp in the north eastern part of Iceland, sitting at a the coordinates of N65° 2′ 31.067″ W16° 35′ 43.006″. It contains days of the year where the sun never truly rises, and temperatures can be freezing quite often.

The program document require a spa and lodge, including space for a full time resident to manage the events and operations. Due to its remote nature, the project program also included a requirement for a green house for produce production. We were encouraged to include exterior camp grounds and courage the inclusion of existing site buildings and trails.

This project was proposed with a strategy of sheltering the the camp grounds from wind, while pinwheeling the program organisation around a central pool and meeting place. The spa and operable programs created one axis of the building, and the lodge then created the counter axis, informed but the existing site road and out buildings present. Few glazing elements were used, as to be conscious of the external climatic conditions, while the slight rotation of the program creates openings of revealing landscape in the centre courtyard. The simple material pallet and floating A frame construction was a nod to the vernacular design present at the site, while trying to make the most out of the thermal gain created by large mass walls.