The institutional building project is performing as a generator for habitable space in an extreme climatic environment, directly on the Arctic Circle on the Island of Grímsey, 40km north of Iceland. The Crater on Grimsey Island is sheltering human to observe the natural phenomena Aurora borealis within controlled inhabitable environment. The energy to produce the controlled environment, is gained by two circular pipe systems. Warm water is collected nearby the island from hydrothermal vents under the sea and is lead into an inner pipe system of the Crater, to create warm environment in the center core. The cooled water is brought back into the sea by an outer pipe system, which also includes nozzles to spray water out onto the construction. The effect of that is the Crater to grow at cold temperature, as the spraying water is turning into ice and encloses and shelters the inner core of the Crater.
Participant Name: Chris Hütter
The Site – The Island of Grimsey – is located 40km north of Iceland, surrounded by the arctic sea. The average monthly temperature varies from 12° C in summer to minus 30°C in winter. Also very strong winds are prevailing, mostly coming from southeast. As the island of Grimsey is located directly on the Polar Circle, during winter, on December 21st the Polar Night is occurring – which means 24 hours without sunlight on the island – the longest and coldest night of winter on Grimsey.
A special natural event, according to the location of the island is the happening of the Aurora Borealis. The Aurora is a colorful light event in the sky, which is unforeseeable and only happening inside and directly on the Arctic Circle. The coloured light occurs when solar wind particles, coming from the sun are entering the earths atmosphere. This causes a colourful wind lightning up the sky.
The Crater is accessed through a path, leading into the outer pipe circular system through cold enclosed and corridor-like spaces into the warm center core – enclosed and sheltered by the outer construction system and open to the sky – where the observation of the Aurora borealis takes place.
In summer the Crater is an open event hall on the island for public viewing of the Aurora borealis, during winter it is creating warm environment, caused by a highly sustainable energy concept for sheltering human during their gatherings and observations.