Ring-shaped viewing point provides spectacular views from 2,000 ft up
A team of architects and designers has revealed plans for a Viking-inspired circular viewing point in Iceland. The structure will be perched on a mountain slope at a height of 650 m (roughly 2,130 ft) above sea level and cantilever outwards to provide spectacular views of the surrounding area.
The project's rather Tolkienesque name of Ring of Bjólfur comes from the mountain in East Iceland that it's going to be constructed on, which has a rich history that the team drew from during the design process.
"Mount Bjólfur is named after the Viking Bjólfur, who first settled in Seydisfjordur and is believed to have been buried high up on the mountain," explained the team. "It is Viking tradition to be buried with their most precious belongings, including jewelry and weapons. Accordingly, the Ring of Bjólfur symbolizes a precious silver ring belonging to Bjólfur, the forefather of the people of the fjord."
The harsh conditions also informed the selection of materials for the viewing point. It will be constructed largely from concrete and anchored in four places, with an inner railing made of locally sourced silver larch and an outer railing of stainless steel posts. It will have a diameter of 32 m (104 ft), with a walkway and bench seating spanning the entire structure (it will also be wheelchair accessible). Once there, visitors will be able to enjoy superb views of the Seydisfjordur, a long and narrow fjord with steep mountains, plus the Atlantic Ocean.
The Ring of Bjólfur is the winning design of an architecture competition issued by the local authorities back in 2021 and is being created by a team made up of Esja Architecture and Arkibygg Arkitektar, with ANNA Landslagsarkitekt, Kjartan Mogensen, and AXA Nordic.
Construction is due to begin later this year and the project will be completed in late 2024. The budget comes in at ISK190 million (around US$1.4 million).