“I AM NOT LIGHT, I am heavy”
Högna Sigurðardóttir (6 July 1929 - 10 February 2017) was a leading Icelandic architect. She was the first woman to design a house in Iceland. She spent most of her professional career in France.
Högna is one of my biggest idols in architecture, not only because of her great architecture...but also for who she was and still is in minds of people, as a strong powerful woman that went for her dreams. A true pioneer of her time. “I AM NOT LIGHT, I am heavy” were here illuminating words.
THIS HOUSE on Bakkaflöt Hafsteinshús, or the house of Hafsteinn, (1965–68), which has been praised as one of the hundred most remarkable buildings of the twentieth century in World Architecture: a Critical Mosaic, is a fine example of Högna’s approach, where landscape, form, and space are merged into a whole, with reference to ancient Icelandic building heritage as well as to contemporary use of concrete and other Brutalist features of modernism.
Bakkaflöt is thrust into a manmade grass-covered hill with only the edge of its flat roof visible.
The interior layout revolves around a central living room with a massive fireplace beneath a skylight, which provides the seemingly closed building with generous light inside.
Beautiful how Högna organically molds the space both horizontally and vertically. From the sleeping rooms, reading nooks, and other intimate spaces sprout from the center with floor-to-ceiling gliding doors. The levels of the floors and ceilings are deliberately raised or lowered to define smaller rooms within the open space.
Materials are restricted to untreated raw concrete, elegantly crafted hardwood, and a bit of leather, with most of the furniture (sofas, benches, tables, bathtubs, and even the beds) cast in concrete, making them part of a coherent whole with the visible main structure of the house.
The sleeping rooms are relatively small as where were six children in the family when Högna designed the house but the have sliding walls that allows the space to open up and to be used for other means. Great idea and concept still today.
It is obvious that the she was inspired by the look of a traditional Icelandic turf house
Inspired by the look of a traditional Icelandic turf house
Högna's designs were and are still to this day seen as very modern and bold.
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