top of page

Volcano Museum



The Iceland volcano museum is a destination inspired by the stunning surrounding context. It draws from elements of lake Myvatn, nature baths, lava fields, northern lights, and of course, the Hyverfjall volcano. Formally, there is a connection to the volcano you see in the distance. As one approaches the museum they understand the connection to the landscape while also evoking a sense of curiosity that draws them inside. Once inside, the spatial qualities leave one to slowly discover the different layers and pockets within the museum. In the end, they will have a comprehensive understanding of the surrounding area, and therefore are better able to appreciate the geological history of the area.


The building is designed so that most of the building can be 3d printed using a concrete mixture containing volcanic ash from the region. The symmetry and modularity of the plan allow for 3d printing, but ultimately creating complex and unique forms that are perfect for organizing a museum. 3d printing most of the building reduces the construction time, lowers construction cost, allows for complex shapes, and most importantly reduces the amount of construction waste. In lieu of 3d printing, the modular design also allows efficient alternative construction methods.


The unique building section creates a double skin around the perimeter, and increases energy efficiency by reducing heating demand in the winter [thermal mass], and controlling solar heat gain in the summer [venting]. It also allows night time cooling, acoustic insulation, and protection from the surrounding winds. A geothermal heat pump takes advantage of the temperatures below the earth's surface by circulating water, and much like a volcano acts as a renewable energy source rooted in the earth. A rainwater cistern collects and stores the rainwater for reuse. The 3d printing process also reduces the amount of waste while using very little energy, and a volcanic ash concrete mixture reduces the embodied energy within the building structure.


All design work - Makoto Shibuya

Exploded Diagram
Study Model
Study Model
Study Model
Study Model
Study Model
bottom of page